List of Soul Reapers in Bleach
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into List of Bleach characters. (Discuss) Proposed since December 2013.|
This is a list of Soul Reaper (死神 Shinigami, literally, "Death god") characters featured in the manga and anime series Bleach, created by Tite Kubo. Soul Reapers are a fictional race of spirits who govern the flow of souls between the human world and the afterlife realm called the Soul Society. The Bleach story tells of how Ichigo Kurosaki becomes substitute Soul Reaper in Karakura Town in place of Rukia Kuchiki. He assumes her duties to protect souls and put them to peaceful rest, as well as to fight against dangerous, lost souls that could not rest, called Hollows.
As the series progresses, however, Rukia is arrested by the Soul Society's Soul Reaper military for giving her powers to Ichigo, and she is prepared for execution. Ichigo and his friends go to save her and are forced to fight against many of the Soul Society's Thirteen Court Guard Squads. Eventually, the Fifth Squad Captain Sōsuke Aizen, the third Squad Captain Gin Ichimaru, and the ninth Squad Captain Kaname Tosen all defect from the Soul Society at the time of the rescue and start a plan, interrupting Ichigo's battles, to gain greater power with the Arrancars, focusing the story with Sōsuke Aizen as the main antagonist.
- 1 Creation and Conception
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Soul Reaper court divisions
- 4 Soul Reaper characters
- 4.1 First Division
- 4.2 Second Division
- 4.3 Third Division
- 4.4 Fourth Division
- 4.5 Fifth Division
- 4.6 Sixth Division
- 4.7 Seventh Division
- 4.8 Eight Division
- 4.9 Ninth Division
- 4.10 Tenth Division
- 4.11 Eleventh Division
- 4.12 Twelfth Division
- 4.13 Thirteenth Division
- 4.14 Kidō Corps
- 4.15 Zero Division (AKA Royal Guard)
- 4.16 Other
- 5 Reception
- 6 References
Creation and Conception
Bleach was first conceived from Tite Kubo's desire to draw Shinigami ("Soul Reaper" in the English adaptations) in a kimono, which formed the basis for the design of the Soul Reapers. Before deciding the use of kimono, Kubo thought of giving black suits to male Soul Reapers and any forms to female Soul Reapers, but thought that it was too generic and changed it to a kimono. Several characteristics from them, such as the kidō spells and the zanpakutō swords are also based on Japanese literature. Instead of using zanpakutō, Kubo wanted to give the Soul Reapers guns, with the exception of Rukia, who would use a scythe. Seeing that guns are not suitable for kimono, he changed them with swords. When asked which of the Court Guard Squad captains and assistant captains were his favorites, Tite Kubo answered by saying that he liked "all of them" and that he likes to "support" characters "disliked by readers." Early plans for the story did not include the hierarchical structure of the Soul Society, but did include Ichigo's Soul Reaper heritage.
Soul Reapers can only be seen by other spiritually aware beings, which excludes most humans. Additionally, they can be injured and die, like regular humans, though it takes considerably greater injuries to die than it would for regular humans.
All Soul Reapers possess a zanpakutō (斬魄刀, lit. "soul-cutting sword"), a weapon which reflects aspects of their soul and personality. Some zanpakutō spirits even possess similar physical traits to their wielders such as hair color and eye markings. A zanpakutō has a symbiotic connection with its owner; evolving and growing stronger with its Soul Reaper. By learning the name of the sword's spirit, and through training, Soul Reapers can unlock more powerful transformations of their zanpakutō. The first transformation, known as shikai (始解, lit. "initial release"), changes the sword's appearance to better facilitate its special abilities. A shikai also acts like a binding contract between a Soul Reaper and the sword and assures that no one but the owner of the weapon can use it to its fullest. The second transformation, known as bankai (卍解, lit. "final release"), can require ten years minimum for a Soul Reaper to master. Once achieved, the Soul Reaper can unlock the full potential of their zanpakutō, increasing their own power several times over. Though rare, it is not impossible for two people to manifest the same zanpakutō and spirit. This is considered the ultimate taboo of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads and the individuals who manifest the spirit are forced to fight to the death to determine the zanpakutō's true master, as in the plot of Bleach: The Diamond Dust Rebellion. Many Soul Reapers are able to use kidō (鬼道, lit. "way of the demon"), a form of magic that can be performed by reciting a specific incantation. Most of the kidō spells seen in the series are used as attacks, defensive measures, or to bind others, though they can also serve more specialized needs such as healing wounds or communication over long distances. Spells are ranked on a scale from 1 to 99, indicating their complexity and overall power. Low-level spells can, however, be as effective from a skilled kidō user (e.g., Byakuya Kuchiki).
Soul Reaper operations are based out of the Soul Society, which is an afterlife realm in Bleach. Travel between the human world and the Soul Society is extremely limited and monitored, but some Soul Reapers are stationed in the human world to carry out their duties. If this Soul Reaper is an assistant captain or a captain then they will have a Gentei Reiin, or a Spirit Restriction Seal, on some area of their body. This seal will limit their spiritual powers to one-fifth of their full power and it can only be released in a state of emergency. In addition to these laws, it is a crime for a Soul Reaper to remain in the human world for longer than directed. A Soul Reaper's duties include leading wandering spirits to the Soul Society by giving a soul funeral (魂葬 (こんそう) konsō ), and to cleanse Hollows (fallen souls) of their sins. High-level Soul Reapers and similarly powerful beings are able to levitate by standing on the spiritual energy in the air.
Soul Reaper court divisions
The Gotei Thirteen (護廷十三隊 Goteijūsantai , "Thirteen Court Guard Squads" in the English dubbed version) is the central organization in the Soul Society that most Soul Reapers join. It is split into thirteen divisions (some of which have certain specializations):
- First Division - The First Division is the highest rank of the Gotei Thirteen. They always deal with any emergency swiftly, with quick decisions and quick actions.
- Second Division - The Second Division is associated with the Stealth Force.
- Third Division - The Third Division has no special duties.
- Fourth Division - The Fourth Division is known for its medical work.
- Fifth Division - The Fifth Division has no special duties. They are highly trained by their captain.
- Sixth Division - The Sixth Division has no special duties, but is seen as a model division by the other Shinigami and is known for its strict adherence to the rules.
- Seventh Division - The Seventh Division has no special duties.
- Eighth Division - The Eighth Division has no special duties.
- Ninth Division - The Ninth Division is always on standby as it is the security force of the Gotei 13. The Ninth Division also oversees art and culture.
- Tenth Division - The Tenth Division has no special duties.
- Eleventh Division - The Eleventh Division is well known for its brute military force with a specialization of sword-only combat.
- Twelfth Division - The Twelfth Division is the scientific research division and has been the home of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute for 110 years. It was directly linked to the S.R.D.I. by former Captain Kisuke Urahara.
- Thirteenth Division - The Thirteenth Division has no special duties.
Other military forces exist apart from the Gotei Thirteen and serve more specialized capacities:
- The Kidō Corps (鬼道衆 Kidōshū ) is a reclusive group that specializes in kidō and is in charge of the gateway connecting the Soul Society and the human world.
- The Stealth Forces (隠密機動 Onmitsukidō , literally, "Hidden Secret Movements Organization"), typically led by the captain of the Second Division, is tasked with surveillance, covert operations, imprisoning potentially problematic Soul Reapers, and assassinations.
- The Royal Guards (王属特務 Ōzokutokumu ) are a secret group composed of only former captains who protect the Soul King and his family. They are also known as the Zero Division. Anyone who is a member of the Royal Guards has created something for the Soul Society and were acknowledged by the Soul King as significant people who played a part in making history.
The Captains (隊長 taichō , literally, "unit commander") are the leaders of the thirteen squads. Each controls a specific squad with the exception of the Commander-General (総隊長 Sōtaichō , "Head-Captain" in the English dub), who acts as both captain of the First Squad and the leader of the Gotei Thirteen; the implication is that this is an ex officio position. Other than Kenpachi Zaraki, all captains are able to perform the bankai of their zanpakutō. To achieve the position of captain, a Soul Reaper must display great expertise with Soul Reaper abilities and battle tactics, and must be approved by either their fellow captains or the members of their own squad. There are three ways a Soul Reaper can become a captain.
- To take the captain proficiency test, which requires the ability to perform bankai. Presumably, most Soul Reapers become captains using this method. At least three existing captains, including the Commander-General, have to witness the test.
- To have personal recommendations from at least six captains and approval from at least three of the remaining seven.
- To defeat a captain one-on-one with at least 200 witnesses from the captain's division. Kenpachi Zaraki and Kenpachi Kiganjō are the only two known captains to have achieved his rank using this method.
Lieutenants (副隊長 fukutaichō , literally, "vice-unit commander") are the adjutants to the captains in each squad. In terms of rank, they hold the second seat in the squad. In the case of a squad captain's death, departure, or other circumstances making them unable to perform their duties, the lieutenant acts as the acting captain until another captain can be assigned. The seated officers (席官 sekikan ) hold ranks from third seat to twentieth. While single digit ranks are usually assigned to a single officer, the lower ranks are often held by several. Higher ranks may also lead secondary teams within the division; for instance, Hanatarō Yamada is the Fourth Squad's seventh seat and leader of the Fourteenth Advanced Relief Team therein.
Soul Reaper characters
Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto
Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto (山本元柳斎 重國 Yamamoto Genryūsai Shigekuni ) was the captain of the 1st Division and the leader of the Gotei 13, an old man with a very muscular body. There are many scars on his torso, head, and arms, suggesting numerous battles in his past, one of which being a failed attempt to kill the progenitor of Quincy, Yhwach. Yamamoto believed that laws must be upheld for the benefit of the community and despised those who break them. But he did, however break them once for the debt that the entire Soul Society owed to Ichigo. He founded the Soul Reaper Academy about 1,000 years before the main Bleach storyline, where he personally instructed Shunsui Kyōraku and Jūshirō Ukitake whom he treated as if they were his sons. Yamamoto claimed that no Soul Reaper born in the last one thousand years is stronger than he is. Yamamoto later led the Gotei 13 captains in fighting Aizen and his strongest Espada, losing his arm in the fight. Almost a year and a half later, when the Wandenreich invaded the Soul Society, Yamamoto fought who he believed was Yhwach but was actually his subordinate Royd Lloyd. Soon after fighting the impostor, Yamamato died by Yhwach's hand. His death caused Central 46 to have Shunsui Kyōraku sworn in as the new Captain-Commander.
Yamamoto's Zanpakutō is Ryūjin Jakka (流刃若火, roughly "If the Fire Flow Edge", Viz "flowing flame blade"). When released by the command "All things in the universe turn to ashes" (万象一切灰燼と為せ banshō issai kaijin to nase ), the sword consumes him and the surrounding area in flames. It is the most powerful Zanpakutō in Soul Society, and the sheer power of the flame can disintegrate almost anything the sword is waved at. Yamamoto is an exceedingly powerful fighter, able to easily combat two captains, as well as several arrancar, with Ryūjin Jakka's shikai. He is also a skilled martial artist in hand-to-hand combat; when Ryūjin Jakka's powers are negated by Wonderweiss Margera, Yamamoto proceeds to kill the Arrancar with his bare hands. Ryūjin Jakka's bankai "Zanka no Tachi" (残火の太刀, lit. "Long Sword of the Remnant Flame") upon release causes all of the flames produced by Yamamoto to disappear into the blade, which takes on the appearance of an ancient, scorched sword. The bankai is composed of four abilities based on the cardinal points:
- "Zanka no Tachi - Higashi (East): Kyokujitsujin" (残火の太刀･東 旭日刃) in which all the flames are concentrated on the edge of the blade, incinerating everything it touches.
- "Zanka no Tachi - Nishi (West): Zanjitsu Gokui" (残火の太刀･西 残日獄衣) where Yamamoto envelops his whole body in flames, reaching up to 15,000,000 degrees.
- "Zanka no Tachi - Minami (South): Kakajuuman Okushi Daisōjin" (残火の太刀･南 火火十万億死大葬陣) - this techique resurrects the burned and incinerated dead which were struck down by the blade using its burning state, it is roughly translated to "great army of the 10 trillion buried by flames".
- "Zanka no Tachi - Kita (North): Tenchi Kaijin" (残火の太刀・北 天地灰燼) - a powerful slash attack, incinerating everything in one fell swoop. Translated as "heaven and earth are burned to ashes".
Ryūjin Jakka is a primary plot element in the anime's "Zanpakutō Rebellion" arc, sought by Muramasa to use for his own purposes. Unlike the other Zanpakutō spirits, Ryūjin Jakka does not have a solid form and is mostly seen as intensely hot flames.
Chōjirō Sasakibe (雀部 長次郎 Sasakibe Chōjirō ), was the former lieutenant of the 1st Division. He was the least seen of all the lieutenants, not being named in the manga until long after his first appearance. Unlike most other lieutenants, he was often present during meetings between captains. He was the only Soul Reaper that participated in the battle for Karakura Town that did not fight, guarding the fake town with a large barrier. In an omake, it shows that due to a mission in the real world he enjoyed growing tea leaves and making his own tea. He, alongside 106 other Soul Reapers, was killed during the Wandenreich's first invasion of Soul Society. It is revealed during his funeral that he had achieved his bankai even before Yamamoto's pupils, Shunsui Kyōraku and Jūshirō Ukitake did, though due to his loyalty to Yamamoto had never used it or even offered to be a captain. Yamamoto confronted Chōjirō's murderer, the Stern Ritter Driscoll Berci, who tried to kill him using Chōjirō's bankai, only to be obliterated by the enraged Yamamoto for using his lieutenant's bankai so shamefully.
His Zanpakutō is Gonryōmaru (厳霊丸, roughly "Strict Spirit Circle"). When released with the command "Bite" (穿て Ugate ), it transforms into a rapier. Its shikai special abilities remain unknown. His bankai is Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū (黄煌厳霊離宮, lit. "Yellow-Glittering Royal Villa of the Stern Spirit"), which produces a bolt of lightning from the blade that extends and transforms into a dome of lightning, stationed far above the users head and fastened to the ground by a large number of lightning pillars. These pillars can be controlled at will to shock the opponent. Gonryōmaru appears as a free Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc of the anime as a ronin. Like the zanpakutō's original form, he is able to manipulate lightning. He uses storm clouds and rain in order to increase the strength of his lightning attacks. While his materialized Zanpakutō is fighting against Soi Fon with the help of Sajin Komamura's materialized Zanpakutō, he shows his anger towards his master for not standing out enough.
Shunsui Kyōraku (京楽 春水 Kyōraku Shunsui ) was originally Squad Eight's captain for most of the storyline. One of the oldest captains alongside his friend Jūshirō Ukitake, Shunsui was trained under Head Captain Yamamoto whom he called Old-man Yama (山じい Yama-jii ). Shunsui is a laid-back and flamboyant man as seen in his attire, wearing a straw hat and a pink flowered haori over his captain's uniform. In his off time, he can be seen drinking sake and napping. Other times, he likes to chase after women, particularly his lieutenant Nanao Ise. Shunsui tends to use a more familiar speech style than most other characters in Bleach; he generally refers to his fellow captains and Soul Reapers by their first name, usually followed by an honorific. Kyōraku is a peace-loving man who will always try to find a nonviolent solution, though he does not wish to insult opponents by refusing to fight. But he is also an adept fighter, able to defeat Coyote Starrk by using only his shikai. After Yamamoto's death, Shunsui becomes the new Head Captain and chooses Genshirō Okikiba and Nanao as his Squad One lieutenants.
Shunsui's Zanpakutō is Katen Kyōkotsu (花天狂骨, roughly "flower-heaven crazy-bone"), a unique weapon as it is two daisho swords. In Katen Kyōkotsu's shikai state, the daisho swords transform into two large swords resembling dao or falchions. When released with the command "Flower Wind Rage and Flower God Roar, Heavenly Wind Rage and Heavenly Demon Sneer" (花風紊れて花神啼き 天風紊れて天魔嗤う Hana Kaze Midarete Kashin Naki, Tenpū Midarete Tenma Warau ), Katen Kyōkotsu gains the ability to "turn children's games into reality." One such game, Bushō Goma (不精独楽, Lazy Spinning Top), involves spinning around wind like a top. Another, Takaoni (嶄鬼, Mountain Demon), declares that whoever is the highest is the winner. A third technique, Kageoni (影鬼, Shadow Demon), forces the players to alter their own shadows; whoever steps on a shadow, even their own, is declared the loser. The last known game is known as Iro-Oni (艶鬼, Colored Demon) where players call out color and then slice the enemy where that color is displayed. However, if the color is not on the body of the person who called it out then the damage given is minimal; the more that the declared color is prevalent on the declarer's body, the more damage the attack will commit. Katen Kyōkotsu's bankai state is unknown, but it is mentioned when Coyote Starrk asks Shunsui to see it and Ukitake warning against its use. In the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, reflecting her weapon form, Katen Kyōkotsu appears as a Feudal-Japan mistress with a silent kunoichi bodyguard.
Genshirō Okikiba (沖牙 源志郎 Okikiba Genshirō ) is the one of the two lieutenants of the 1st Division, formerly the 3rd Seat of the division. During the Wandenreich's attack on the Soul Society, Genshirō is told by Yamamoto to protect the 1st Division's barracks while he heads out. After Yamamoto's death, Okikiba is selected by Shunsui Kyōraku to be the 1st Division's lieutenant along with Nanao Ise.
Nanao Ise (伊勢 七緒 Ise Nanao ) is one of the two lieutenants of the 1st Division, formerly the lieutenant of the 8th Division. She first joined Gotei 13 when she was a little girl and enjoyed being read to by former 8th Division lieutenant Lisa Yadōmaru. Nanao is a very serious and pragmatic person (can be compared to that of Lisa Yadōmaru) which is at odds with her captain's silly antics. Despite this, she is extremely respectful of her captain and follows his instructions without hesitation. Nanao is often accosted by her captain, whose teasing takes various forms. When she is particularly annoyed she removes her glasses. Though her face has never been shown while doing so, this act is apparently quite frightening as most characters who see it are reduced to gibbering wrecks just by witnessing it. She becomes lieutenant of the 1st Division alongside the division's 3rd Seat, Genshirō Okikiba, after Shunsui's promotion to captain-commander, following Yamamoto's death. She is revealed to have been chosen as Shunsui's lieutenant because of her well-verse in kidō, as shown when she creates a special kidō capable of blocking the Wandenreich during their second invasion of Soul Society.
Nanao is rarely seen with her Zanpakutō during the series. An illustration in the art book "All Colour but the Black" reveals that her Zanpakutō takes the form of what appears to be either a wakizashi or tantō, which she seems to conceal within her sleeve.
Shin'etsu Kisaragi (如月 信越 Kisaragi Shin'etsu ) was a member of the 1st Division and the father of Shūsuke Amagai. When Central 46 denied Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's request to investigate the Kasumiōji Clan Compound upon the clan's manufacturing of the Bakkōtō, Yamamoto sent Kisaragi to infiltrate the Kasumiōji Clan Compound where he was caught by Gyōkaku Kumoi's men as Gyōkaku Kumoi forces a Bakkōtō on him. Using the control of the Bakkōtō, Kumoi forced Shin'etsu to return to the person who sent him. Shin'etsu ends up fighting Yamamoto who ends up having to kill Shin'etsu in self-defense. Shūsuke finds his dying body and hears his father's last words "Beware the Bakkōtō".
Yoruichi Shihōin (四楓院 夜一 Shihōin Yoruichi ) is the former captain of the 2nd Division, the Onmitsukidō. She held the title during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. She abandoned her post to aid Kisuke Urahara and Tessai Tsukabishi in leaving Soul Society. In her first appearance as a black cat, she is shown greeted by Kisuke Urahara saying that Yoruichi is his best friend. Her black cat form is male, therefore earning her the nickname 'Mr. Yoruichi' from Kisuke. She later stays at Urahara Shop. Yoruichi was originally thought to be only a cat at first when she first met Ichigo Kurosaki, Orihime Inoue, and Uryū Ishida. Yoruichi is known for her Shunpo ability, which gained her the title "Flash Step Goddess" in Soul Society. During her fight with Soi Fon, she argues that she has not relinquished her title of "Flash Step Goddess" after knocking out the stealth force. She is extremely powerful and is even faster than she is strong. She used to be Soi Fon's mentor as well as princess of the Shihoin family. She also possesses superhuman strength and agility. Former 2nd Division Captain, she has been seen using a katana, which is suspected to be her Zanpakuto.
Marenoshin Ōmaeda (大前田 希ノ進 Ōmaeda Marenoshin ) is the former lieutenant of the 2nd Division under Yoruichi Shihōin as well as former Captain of the Special Forces Patrol Corps, appearing in the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. He is the father of the division's current lieutenant, Marechiyo. His appearance is similar to that of his son. Like his son, Marenoshin likes to downgrade the poorer members of the Gotei 13, like Izuru Kira and Shūhei Hisagi. Marenoshin eventually retired his positions, both of which were taken by his son.
Soi Fon (砕蜂（ソイフォン） Soi Fon , pinyin: Suì Fēng), born Fon Shaolin (蜂 梢綾（フォン シャオリン） Fon Shaorin , pinyin: Fēng Shaolíng), is the captain of the 2nd Division and also the current Commander in Chief of The Secret Remote Squad (隠密機動 Onmitsukidō ). She is a hard worker who believes strongly in following orders. She is also outwardly antagonistic to her underlings as she believes this keeps them on their toes. During her childhood, she served as a bodyguard and eventual protégé of Yoruichi Shihōin with whom she developed a close relationship. When Yoruichi left Soul Society, Soi Fon was crushed by the fact that Yoruichi did not take her with her. When Yoruichi returns to Soul Society a century later, Soi Fon engages her in battle yet did not manage to defeat her. After asking the question of why she was left behind, to which Yoruichi's answer is not heard, the two make amends. Their relationship has become somewhat of a running gag: Soi Fon likes anything resembling a black cat (a form Yoruichi can assume at will) and displays jealousy should Yoruichi be in someone else's company. Soi Fon also applies battle techniques similar to Yoruichi, engaging the enemies by using hand-to-hand combat with Shunpo abilities.
Soi Fon's Zanpakutō is Suzumebachi (雀蜂, literally translated as "Hornet"). When released by the command "Sting all Enemies to Death" (尽敵螫殺 Jinteki Shakusetsu ), it shrinks into a stinger that is worn on the middle finger of Soi Fon's right hand. Whenever it stabs an opponent, a butterfly-like symbol called a hornet's crest (蜂紋華 hōmonka ) spreads from the point of contact. The crest bears four wings because the Hornet has two sets of full-size wings located on its thorax. Due to her training, this mark can be kept there for as long as she desires. Should Suzumebachi stab the same location again, the opponent dies. This also holds true if an internal organ is pierced in the same location, regardless of the point of entry into the body. Furthermore, if Soi Fon is infected with a foreign poison, she can stab herself with her zanpakutō to counteract the new poison with her own, neutralizing it. Suzumebachi's Bankai, Jakuhō Raikōben (雀蜂雷公鞭, lit. "Hornet Whip of the Thunder Immortal") composes of a greatly enlarged version of the shikai form that encases the entirety of Soi Fon's arm, which she mentions as being bulky and incapable of concealing, and thus unsuited for use in missions requiring stealth. In this form, Suzumebachi becomes a long-range weapon and looks like a large rocket launcher; its main offensive capability allowing Soi Fon to launch a high-speed projectile that resembles a large missile. The thunderous recoil produced by the weapon requires Soi Fon to be anchored to a nearby stationary object via an enhanced cloth-like material (which doubles as armor) called Ginjōtan (銀条反, lit. "Stripe of Inverted Silver"). Soi Fon notes that normally she can only use her bankai once every three days without issue; using it more than once in a day, while possible, drains considerable amounts of her spirit energy. So even the second shot would exhaust her to the point where her speed and maneuverability would be seriously impaired which is anathema to her fighting style which requires high levels of both. Suzumebachi appears as a freed Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc resembling a tiny flying hornet-like girl with a gauntlet like stinger on one hand whose agility matches Soi Fon's high speed movement.
In the Japanese version of the series, Soi Fon was originally voiced by Tomoko Kawakami until her illness in 2008 and death in 2011; since then, Houko Kuwashima assumed the role. Karen Strassman provides her voice in the English dub.
Marechiyo Ōmaeda (大前田 希千代 Ōmaeda Marechiyo ) is the lieutenant of the 2nd Division and Captain of the Special Forces Patrol Corps. He comes across as arrogant and dull. In an omake he is shown to come from a rich family, where he is revealed to have a ridiculously long name: Marechiyo Yoshiayamenosuke Nikkōtarōemon Ōmaeda (大前田 日光太郎右衛門 美菖蒲介 希千代 Ōmaeda Nikkōtarōemon Yoshiayamenosuke Marechiyo ). Other characters suspect that he received his position as a lieutenant because of his family's influence. Despite his dense and foolish attitude, he is a skilled tactician, is not above putting himself in danger for his duty, and only feigns weakness and stupidity to lull his opponents into underestimating him, using this to aid in his near victory over one of Aizen's arrancar.
Marechiyo's zanpakutō is Gegetsuburi (五形頭, roughly "five heads"), and is released by the command "Crush" (打っ潰せ buttsubuse ). It transforms into an oversized flail that can be thrown to inflict great physical damage to foes. Gegetsuburi appears as a freed Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc resembling a shirtless, obese man who blames Marechiyo for his appearance. He has not obtained his Bankai yet.
Rōjūrō "Rose" Otoribashi (鳳橋 楼十郎 Ōtoribashi Rōjūrō ) is the captain of the 3rd Division during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. He leaves Soul Society after becoming a Vizard. After Aizen's defeat, he is allowed to return to Soul Society and is reinstated as the 3rd Division captain. In the Lost Shinigami Substitute Arc, he appears standing next to Captain-Commander Yamamoto when Ichigo shows up to request Kugo's body.
Rose's Zanpakutō is named Kinshara (金沙羅, lit. gold shala). His shikai transforms the blade into a long, plantlike whip with a flower at its tip. Prefaced as Kinshara Eleventh Sonata (金沙羅奏曲第十一番 Kinshara Sōkyoku Daijūichiban ), Kinshara's technique, Izayoi Bara (十六夜薔薇, lit. "Sixteen Day-Old Moon Rose"), causes this tip to discharge an explosion of energy.
Chikane Iba (射場 千鉄 Iba Chikane ) is the former lieutenant of the 3rd Division under Rōjūrō Otoribashi, appearing in the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. She is the mother of Tetsuzaemon Iba, the current lieutenant of the 7th Division. She retired from her position sometime later.
Gin Ichimaru (市丸 ギン Ichimaru Gin ) was the captain of the 3rd Division at the start of the series, formerly the lieutenant of the 5th Division under Sōsuke Aizen. Aloof and sarcastic with a large self-satisfied grin on his face, Gin seemed to be the type of person who likes to rile other people up. He joined Aizen in defecting from the Soul Reapers at the conclusion of the Soul Society arc, serving as the villain's bodyguard. However, Gin is a childhood friend of Rangiku Matsumoto and witnessed her nearly getting killed by Aizen when he was taking spirit energy from her and others in the Roukon district to feed the incomplete Hōgyoku. This event motivated Gin's decision to join the Gotei 13 with the intent to personally kill Aizen for hurting Rangiku. Though Gin got his chance during the final battle, he failed to kill Aizen and died as a result.
Gin's Zanpakutō is Shinsō (神槍, lit. "God Spear"). Its release command is "Shoot 'em Dead" (射殺せ Ikorose ). When released, it has the ability to extend 100 times its normal length at high speed, which is powerful enough that the force released can stagger even large people. He can also keep the shikai's extension while sweeping with it. Shinsō's Bankai is Kamishini no Yari (神殺鎗, lit. "God-Killing Spear"). Gin claims that his Bankai can extend up to 13 kilometers at 500 times the speed of sound, thus the enemy might not notice when it is extended and retracted due to its sheer speed. Its cutting power is greatly amplified to the point where it can cut through an entire city full of buildings with just one strike. He can also maximize the blade's power by adapting a stance called Butō (無踏, lit. "No/Null Step") in which Gin firmly grips Kamishini no Yari with both hands and places the Zanpakutō's hilt squarely on the center of his chest. However, the Bankai's true power lies not in the length or speed, but in its deadly poison stored in the sword. With the command Korose, Kamishini no Yari (殺せ, 神殺鎗, lit. "Kill, God-Killing Spear"), the blade would turn into dust just a second when it expands and contracts. The poison is deadly enough that it can dissolve and break down cells in the matter of seconds. He can leave a sliver of the poison every time before he retracts Kamishini no Yari, thus killing his opponent anytime he wants.
Izuru Kira (吉良 イヅル Kira Izuru , romanized as "Iduru" in Bleach Official Character Book SOULs and other Japanese sources) is the lieutenant of the 3rd Division. He is also formerly a member of the 5th Division and 4th Division. He is a friend of Momo Hinamori and Renji Abarai from their days in the Soul Reaper academy, and the three often spend their free time together. Though Kira is loyal to his friends, he often places his duties as a lieutenant above them. He defends his captain, Gin Ichimaru, from a grief-stricken Hinamori, and later calls himself a "monster" for raising his sword against her. He subsequently comes to regret helping Gin Ichimaru to defect from Soul Society, and develops more of a depressed and pessimistic demeanor. During the Wandenreich invasion, Kira is mortally wounded by Stern Ritter Buzzbee although his fate is unknown.
Kira's Zanpakutō is Wabisuke (侘助, roughly "The Apologizer", translated in the English manga as "the penitent one"). The shikai command is "raise your head" (面を上げろ omote o agero ). When released, Wabisuke takes the form of a khopesh that has the ability to double the weight of whatever it strikes. The effect is cumulative, so each following hit exponentially increases the weight of the target. Thus, after seven or eight blocked attacks, his opponents are unable to lift their own swords or even move their body, leaving them on the ground with their head bowed as though asking forgiveness. At this point Wabisuke's released form, a blade bent into a squared hook, comes into play, being used to decapitate the kneeling opponent, denying them forgiveness. Wabisuke appears as a freed Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, as a long-haired and darkly clad emaciated man carrying a large ball and chain and a slab of concrete on his back which explains the Zanpakutō's abilities.
Rikū Togakushi (戸隠 李空 Togakushi Rikū ) is the 3rd Seat of the 3rd Division. When the Wandenreich invade the Soul Society, a Quincy attacks Izuru Kira and the 3rd Division members present. Rikū criticizes the vile nature of the surprise attack following Izuru being taken down and orders the remaining Soul Reapers to use their Shikai to attack. He releases his Shikai, but the Quincy appears behind him and cuts him down. The Shinigami Research and Development Institute notes that his reiatsu has vanished.
Rikū's Zanpakutō is Shunjin (春塵 Spring Dust ). Although it was unseen, itss sealed form resembles a normal katana.
Taketsuna Gori (吾里 武綱 Gori Taketsuna ) is the 5th Seat of the 3rd Division. When the Wandenreich invade the Soul Society, a Quincy attacks Izuru Kira and the 3rd Division members present. After Izuru is quickly taken down by a Quincy, Taketsuna and the other 3rd Division members attacked. He releases his Shikai, but is overpowered by the Quincy opponent, who swiftly slams his head into the ground.
Taketsuna's Zanpakutō is Mogaribue (虎落笛 Tiger-Fall Flute ). Although it was unseen, its sealed form resembles a normal katana.
Asuka Katakura (片倉 飛鳥 Katakura Asuka ) is the 6th Seat of the 3rd Division. When the Wandenreich invade the Soul Society, a Quincy attacks Izuru Kira and the 3rd Division members present. After Izuru is quickly taken down by a Quincy, Asuka and the other 3rd Division members attacked. He releases his Shikai, but is overpowered by the Quincy opponent, who swiftly slams his head into the ground.
Asuka's Zanpakutō is Katakage (片陰 One-Sided Shadow ). Although it was unseen, its sealed form resembles a normal katana with a rectangular tsuba.
Shūsuke Amagai (天貝 繍助 Amagai Shūsuke ) is introduced as the captain of the 3rd Division during season nine of the anime. He does not appear in the manga. He has an unkempt appearance and is usually bright, lively, and unpretentious, and can become drunk on a single drink of alcohol. Because Amagai spent most of his Soul Reaper career away from Soul Society as part of a patrol group, the members of the 3rd Division are mistrustful of him when first meeting him. As such, he spends the episodes following his introduction trying to prove himself to them and the rest of the Soul Reapers by promoting teamwork between all the divisions. As the anime progresses Amagai is quickly revealed to have ulterior motives, with his friendly attitude only being a means to further his plans. He joined the Gotei 13 in order to exact revenge upon Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto for killing his father to keep the bakkōtō a secret. After his various accomplices are slain in Soul Society, Amagai takes the nuclei of their bakkōtō and engages Yamamoto in battle. He ends up fighting Ichigo Kurosaki while Rukia and the others Rurichiyo Kasumioji (who Amagai abducted after killing Gyokaku Kumoi) and is defeated by Ichigo. Upon learning the truth about his father's death, he takes his own life to atone for his misdeeds.
Amagai's Zanpakutō is Raika (雷火, roughly "Lightning Flash"). His Zanpakutō's Shikai command is "sever" (断ち切れ tachikire ). When released, it takes the form of a white hook sword with curved pipes that form the hilt. He can focus fireballs into the crux of the hook and, by slamming it into the ground, create large fissures of flame to attack enemies with. Raika's Bankai, Raika Gōen Kaku (雷火豪炎殻, literally "Lightning Flash Flame Shell"), enlarges the blade and creates a giant conch-shaped guard worn across Amagai's arm, with the handle of the blade hidden inside it. This form gives him greater control of his fire attacks, his most powerful technique creating giant dragons of fire to encircle and crush his foe. His Bakkōtō, a twin-bladed tuning fork-shaped weapon, creates black-plated armor across Amagai's right arm and a green energy sword emitting from the weapon when activated.
His Bakkōtō (獏爻刀, roughly "tapir crossing blade") negates any other active Soul Reaper zanpakutō abilities, forcing opponents to rely on other powers.
Makoto Kibune (貴船 理 Kibune Makoto ) is added to the 3rd Division as the 3rd Seat during season nine of the anime. He has brown hair and purple-rimmed glasses. While he outwardly appears friendly towards his subordinates, he is highly intolerant towards failure, calling those who fall in battle "trash". When in training at the Soul Reaper academy, Kibune stood out as a highly gifted student, but his inability to function in a team prevented him from attaining rank in the Gotei 13 where a teammate getting injured upon his attack on a Hollow got him in trouble with Central 46. This led Kibune to join the patrol squads under Shūsuke Amagai instead. Around this time, he became a servant of Gyōkaku Kumoi and gained a bakkōtō. Though it gives him the necessary power to wreak havoc on Soul Society, he eventually loses control of the Bakkōtō and is killed by Izuru Kira as Mokoto's body laid on the ground in flames.
Kibune's Zanpakutō is Reppū (烈風, literally "Gale"). When released by the command "rampage" (荒れ狂え are kurue ), it takes the form of a large, two-bladed weapon. When combined with his Bakkōtō, Makoto can telekinetically control the sword, allowing him to attack enemies from any direction and spin the blade like a saw blade.
Retsu Unohana (卯ノ花 烈 Unohana Retsu ) was the captain of the 4th Division, one of the founding members of the Gotei 13 and the first Kenpachi, a title granted to the captains of the 11th Division. Before becoming a captain, Unohana was regarded as the most diabolical criminal to ever grace Soul Society, being infamous for her sadistic bloodlust for battle. She invented the "Art of Killing" and gave herself the name Yachiru Unohana (卯ノ花 八千流 Unohana Yachiru ) in part of her boast that she had mastered all kind of fighting arts. Unohana was desperate to find opponents who can give her satisfying challenges until she battled Kenpachi Zaraki, whom she regarded as stronger than her after being able to give her a scar on the chest. However, for unknown reasons, after becoming the captain of the 4th Division, Unohana became a soft-spoken lady who never displayed distress even in the most perilous situations and when situations prove demanding, she usually responded with sharp-minded thinking. She used honorific when addressing everyone, including her subordinates. As the captain of the 4th Division, Unohana excelled in healing techniques, being taught to her by Royal Guard member, Tenjiro Kirinji, which she put to use in treating the most severe injuries and performing major surgeries, normally on the captains and if necessary, lieutenants. Though she is always polite to her patients and subordinates, aspects of her true persona manifested a bit with her mere presence intimidating her charges into submission if they try to leave her care before they are fully healed or, in the English dub, if they complain about the way they being treated. She was very good in noticing details, as shown by her being the first to notice a slight abnormality on Aizen's fake corpse, which was confirmed later on by Aizen himself. During the Battle of Karakura Town, she was one of the captains sent to assist Ichigo in Hueco Mundo and later accompanied Ichigo to the town through Garganta, although she did not take part in the battle directly. Later, during the Wandenreich invasion, Unohana and all other members of her division were ordered to remain in their barracks by Yamamoto and after Shunsui Kyōraku became the new Captain-Commander, she resumed her true persona when asked to train Zaraki in what would become a battle to the death. After repeatedly taking Zaraki to the brink of death and bringing him back to continue fighting, Unohana released her Bankai to complete Zaraki's "awakening". In the end, she was run through by Zaraki, dying, but grateful that she had served her purpose and helped Zaraki to learn the name of his Zanpakutō.
Unohana's Zanpakutō is Minazuki (肉雫唼, roughly "purify the flesh"). When in its sealed form it resembles a curved tachi. In its shikai, the entire sword transforms into a gigantic, flying, one-eyed creature resembling a manta ray. It has the ability to heal people by swallowing them and recuperates them in its stomach. When Unohana reseals Minazuki, it dissolves into green mist and reforms into the sheath of her Zanpakutō. Her Bankai is Minazuki (皆尽, "All Things' End"). When activated it releases a thick, oily substance from the blade. Its powers have yet to be revealed. Minazuki appears as freed Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc with Minazuki's form being a mute figure of unknown gender in a hooded robe, pretending it was imprisoning Yamamoto.
Seinosuke Yamada (山田 清之介 Yamada Seinosuke ) is the former lieutenant of the 4th Division. He is the older brother of the 4th Division 7th Seat Hanatarō Yamada. He served the division 100 years ago, during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. While much of him is unknown, Seinosuke is described as having a bad character, although he respects his captain, Retsu Unohana very much. He later left his position.
Isane Kotetsu (虎徹 勇音 Kotetsu Isane ) is the lieutenant of the 4th Division. She is the older sister of Kiyone Kotetsu. Unlike Kiyone, Isane is generally quiet and observant and taller than average, though she shares her sister's sense of loyalty to her captain. Unohana notes that Isane suffers from frequent and recurring nightmares. This is sometimes used as material for jokes as Isane's nightmares are often odd or whimsical in their contents. For example, she once had a nightmare that ended with her screaming "fish paste." She is very emotional by nature, crying after the Wandereich's first invasion of the Soul Society and again when she finds Captain Unohana's farewell note before the latter's fight to the death with Zaraki.
During the Soul Society Arc, she was present at Rukia's execution. When Ichigo appeared, Isane, alongside Chōjirō Sasakibe and Marechiyo Ōmaeda, attacked him but were swiftly defeated. She was present when Aizen revealed his true nature to Hitsugaya and Unohana, and quickly broadcast the information to the rest of Soul Society. Isane was part of the reinforcements sent to Hueco Mundo in order to assist his Ichigo and friends. She and Unohana healed Chad and Gantenbainne Mosqueda after saving them from the Exequias. After Unohana headed to Fake Karakura Town, she orderend Isane to assist Captain Byakuya Kuchiki and Captain Kenpachi Zaraki in battle against Espada Yammy Llargo. During the Wandenreich invasion of Soul Society, Isane and the rest of the 4th Division were ordered by Yamamoto to remain in their barracks.
Isane's Zanpakutō is Itegumo (凍雲, literally "frozen cloud", translated in the English manga as "frozen snow") her shikai command is "Sprint" (奔れ Hashire ). When released, two smaller blades protrude from Itegumo's hilt at 45° angles. Its special abilities, if any, remain unknown.
Yasochika Iemura (伊江村 八十千和 Iemura Yasochika ) is the 3rd Seat Officer of the 4th division and the leader of its first relief team serving under Retsu Unohana. Despite his high rank, he has to call the other division's 3rd seats with a -sama suffix as he comes from the weakest division in terms of combat. Iemura meticulously keeps a diary, which he sometimes defeats the purpose of by narrating what he is writing in it, particularly when lamenting something. He is quite proficient in the use of healing Kidō and his speedy treatments are known to rival those of his Division's lieutenant, Isane Kotetsu.
The name and abilities of Iemura's Zanpakutō are unknown. Iemura was only seen using his sword once in the manga against a 4th Division member after the latter annoyed him. It resembles a regular katana with a square shaped guard.
Hanatarō Yamada (山田 花太郎 Yamada Hanatarō ) is the 7th Seat Officer of the 4th Division and the leader of its 14th Relief Squad. Hanatarō is very timid and nervous, mostly he is not thinking about what he is doing. He tends to be clumsy and easily duped. Despite his character, he is shown to be very talented in healing and treating including even displaying boldness at times as he risks his position as a Soul Reaper to help Rukia Kuchiki escape execution while healing Ichigo on several occasions. Instead of his zanpakutō, Hanatarō usually carries the 4th Division medical pack on his back that he uses to heal others in the battlefield. Because he has strong relationships with Ichigo, Rukia and Renji, he is part of the reinforcement sent by Gotei 13 to infiltrate Hueco Mundo in order to assist his fellow Soul Reapers in battle, presumably healing them once the battle is over. In Hueco Mundo, Hanatarō was assigned with Captain Byakuya Kuchiki instead of his captain, Unohana. While there, he was briefly injured by Rukia who at that time was under Zommari Leroux's control but made full recovery and immediately resumed his duty. He is also known as the "Lil' Creepy Medical Kid".
Though he does possess a Zanpakutō, named Hisagomaru (瓠丸, "gourd"), he tends to misplace it as he rarely needs to use it. When it strikes an opponent, Hisagomaru heals their wounds rather than causing them damage. A red gauge on the blade then fills depending on the severity of the healed wounds. Once the gauge is filled and it is released with the command "Fulfill" (満たせ Mitase ), Hisagomaru transforms into a scalpel and changes its name to Akeiro Hisagomaru (朱色瓠丸, "crimson gourd"). In this state, Hisagomaru unleashes a reiatsu-based attack (similar to kido or cero) equal to the severity and amount of wounds that has been healed. The proportion of its strength, if enough energy is stored, is nearly strong enough to decapitate a Menos. However, upon releasing the energies, Akiero Hisagomaru retains its scalpel form, rendering it effectively useless in hand-to-hand combat. He can also release the current amount of energy before it is filled, although this is only mentioned and not actually seen. Hisagomaru appears as a materialized Zanpakutō spirit, appearing as a large klutzy toy-like robot with the ability to produce a giant laser cannon to fire his signature energy blast.
Hanatarō was one of the selected higher officers who has been ordered to transfer a partial amount of their own reiatsu to restore Ichigo's Soul Reaper power, although the order is only applicable to captains and lieutenants. It is best concluded that Hanatarō is on the par at the lieutenant's level.
Harunobu Ogidō (荻堂 春信 Ogidō Harunobu ) is the 8th Seat of the Fourth Division as well as the second leader of the first relief team.
Shinji Hirako (平子 真子 Hirako Shinji ) is the captain of the 5th Division during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. Shinji is taken out of the Soul Society by Yoruichi after Central 46 rules that he and the other captains and vice captains are affected by the Hollowfication experiments and will be killed like any other Hollow. He is the leader of the Visoreds and lives with the others in the living world hidden from the Gotei 13. Shinji is also shown to be quite comedic, engaging in rivalry fights with Hiyori and getting punched in the face or kicked when she is annoyed with him. Quite often a comedic sounding soundtrack is played during his entrances, particularly his entrance to save Ichigo from being killed by Grimmjow. Shinji is also very strong, fighting on par with Grimmjow in his unreleased form without using his hollowfication. When in Hollow form, Shinji is much more powerful than Grimmjow, and shows this by almost defeating him. Shinji can also shoot a powerful cero. After the 17-month skip following Aizen's defeat, he is allowed back into Soul Society and reinstated as 5th Division captain. He is present when Ichigo returns to Seireitei to ask for Kujo Ginjo's body. He asks Ichigo if he can forgive Kujo for what he did. During the Wandenreich's second invasion, Shinji battles Stern Ritter Bambietta Basterbine using his shikai, although he is quickly defeated and badly injured by her exploding reiatsu technique.
Shinji's Zanpakutō is named Sakanade (逆撫, lit. Counter Stroke). When released, five holes line the blade's length, and a large ring forms at the bottom of the hilt. The blade releases a scent that inverts and reverses the enemy's visual perception. Shinji claims that it is impossible to comprehend the attack directions, as the more experienced one relies on instinct to fight, causing one to inevitably fall prey to Sakanade.
Sōsuke Aizen (藍染 惣右介 Aizen Sōsuke ) is the captain of the 5th Division at the start of the series. He defects from the Soul Reapers at the conclusion of the Soul Society arc, fleeing to Hueco Mundo. In the past he was the lieutenant of the 5th Division under Shinji Hirako, who he replaced sometime after converting Shinji into a Visored. He is the main antagonist for several hundred chapters of the manga, though he does not actively battle until much later. His final fight is with Ichigo, where he is completely overpowered. Aizen commonly talks as if the other characters are nothing compared to him, and he is absolutely stunned when Ichigo is able to fight back against him. He goes through several transformations by using the Hogyoku. Ichigo finally defeats him by using the Final Gestuga Tensho, which in turn sacrifices his own powers as a soul reaper. Aizen starts to recover, but a kido that Urahara placed on him during an earlier fight traps him. He is later imprisoned in the lowest level of Central Great Underground Prison, Mūken and must serve for 20,000 years. The leader of Wandenreich, Yhwach lists him as one of the "Special War Potentials" and convinces Aizen to join him, though he refuses the deal.
Before dissolving his powers through the Hogyōku, Aizen's Zanpakutō is Kyōka Suigetsu (鏡花水月, lit. "Mirror Flower, Water Moon"). By releasing it with the command "Shatter" (砕けろ Kudakero ), Aizen could use the technique called Kanzen Saimin (完全催眠, lit. "Complete Hypnosis"). Once the target watch the zanpakutō's shikai sequence, they can no longer rely on their five senses, as the illusion will fool all of them, even if they are very perceptive of the event. The technique is long-lasting and apparently lasts indefinitely, as it is shown that the Vizard are still affected by the illusions during their fight with Aizen. The only way to counter this technique is to touch Aizen's zanpakutō before he finishes releasing his shikai, which will grant the to-be victim immunity to the illusion. His bankai is unknown, and with him having forgoing his Soul Reaper powers, it is unlikely that it will be shown.
Momo Hinamori (雛森 桃 Hinamori Momo ) is the lieutenant of the 5th Division. She is an upbeat and easy-going girl who is generally quite trusting, if not naive. She is a childhood friend of Tōshirō Hitsugaya, who called her "bed-wetter Momo" in retaliation whenever she called him "Shiro-chan" ("Lil' Shiro" in the English dub). She befriended Izuru Kira and Renji Abarai when she joined the Soul Reaper academy, and the three later joined the 5th Division under Sōsuke Aizen. Being the only one of them to have stayed with the division, Hinamori greatly admired Aizen; it is because of her deep admiration and respect for him that she is in deep shock and denial after he tries to kill her and subsequently betrays the Soul Society, even suggesting in one of her mentally unstable moments that Gin Ichimaru is controlling him somehow. She later joins the rest of Soul Society in fighting against Aizen during this battle, and calls Aizen a captain, but Matsumoto knows it was only out of habit. During this battle, Aizen again has Momo seriously injured by using his powers and fooling Momo's long time friend Captain Hitsugaya into stabbing her in the chest. It is later revealed that she survives this and is undergoing organ regeneration under the supervision of Mayuri Kurotsuchi. The final arc shows Momo has since recovered and that she been on good terms with her new captain, Shinji Hirako, who was reinstated following Aizen's defeat.
Momo's Zanpakutō is Tobiume (飛梅, literally "flying plum tree"). Her shikai command is "snap" (弾け hajike ). When released, Tobiume's blade straightens and produces several jitte-like prongs along its length. In this form, Tobiume acts as a focus for Hinamori's spiritual power, concentrating it into energy bursts capable of cratering floors and breaching walls. She can also compress her power into massive energy balls and toss them from the blade's tip. To complement her kidō-based zanpakutō, Hinamori is noted to be talented with kidō spells as well, able to combine kidō abilities with her own zanpakutō to easily deal with three Arrancar at once. Tobiume appears as a free Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, resembling a young girl wielding overlarge bells that can launch fireballs.
Ginrei Kuchiki (朽木 銀嶺 Kuchiki Ginrei ) is the captain of the 6th Division and the head of the Kuchiki family during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. His grandson Byakuya Kuchiki eventually replaces him in both positions.
Sōjun Kuchiki (朽木 蒼純 Kuchiki Sōjun ) was the former lieutenant of the 6th Division under Ginrei Kuchiki, appearing in the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. He is Ginrei Kuchiki's son and Byakuya Kuchiki's father. Sōjun had severe health issues, although he still wanted to succeed his father as the Head of Kuchiki family. However, he was later killed in action and was buried next to his wife.
Byakuya Kuchiki (朽木 白哉 Kuchiki Byakuya ) became captain of the 6th Division sometime after his grandfather, Ginrei Kuchiki, vacated its captaincy. At the beginning of the series, he is shown as extremely powerful and very heartless, appearing to do anything to have Rukia executed. It is later shown after a fight with Ichigo when he comes to Rukia's rescue and takes a hit from Gin Ichimaru's zanpakuto that he does care about Rukia, his adopted sister and sister-in-law. He had been married to Rukia's sister Hisana, but she fell ill and died five years after their marriage. Byakuya is a very strong believer in the laws of Soul Society, and being of one of the four noble families, he works faithfully to maintain peace within the Soul Society. He believes that the best way to maintain peace is to punish all law-breakers, even if that goes against his own wishes. Byakuya has a quiet demeanor and a cold sense of humor, which he often uses to play tricks on his lieutenant, Renji Abarai. He can be stubborn and set in his ways, and when he was younger he was very hot headed and quick to temper, much like Ichigo Kurosaki.
His Zanpakutō is Senbonzakura (千本桜, "A Thousand Cherry Blossoms"); he releases it with the command "scatter" (散れ chire ). When released, his blade disappears, and a thousand blades, resembling sakura petals, come upon his opponent and slash them multiple times. His Bankai is Senbonzakura Kageyoshi (千本桜景厳, "Vibrant Display Of One Thousand Cherry Blossoms") and is similar, but it is much more powerful and harder to escape, due to the large increase in blades and in speed. Senbonzakura Kageyoshi can also create a large trap, which is initiated by an opponent with sufficient speed running away long enough to create a huge net of cherry blossoms and trap the opponent, thus killing or mortally injuring them. Senbonzakura Kageyoshi also has one other ability, Senkei Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, which is similar to his Bankai, but materialized in the form of his katana. This creates a thousand swords with which Byakuya can fight his opponent.
Ginjirō Shirogane (銀 銀次郎 Ginjirō Shirogane ) is the former lieutenant of the 6th Division under Byakuya Kuchiki. He runs a popular eyeglasses store, the Gin Tobo, in which his daughter, Mihane also works as a co-worker. After his the store became busy, he decided to resign from his position to be replaced by Renji Abarai. However, he still maintains contact with his former comrades, including sending them free eyeglasses.
Renji Abarai (阿散井 恋次 Abarai Renji ) is the lieutenant of the 6th Division. He begins his Soul Reaper career in the 5th Division, but is transferred into the 11th Division and eventually moves to the 6th to become Byakuya Kuchiki's lieutenant. Renji is hot headed and stubborn and would do anything to protect his friends. He and Rukia are childhood friends, he followed Rukia into the Soul Society when the Kuchiki family adopted Rukia. It is seen during this time that he is also a bit of a prodigy, being placed in advanced classes in the academy. He has tribal black tattoos covering most of his face and body. They were given to him by his zanpakuto, Zabimaru. He releases it with the command "Howl". He is jokingly referred to as a "red pineapple" and even wears a shirt Ichigo gave him that says so. The reference of course is referring to his mass of red hair often pulled on top of his head in a high ponytail that resembles a pineapple. In attempt to save Rukia, Renji trained with Ichigo to achieve Bankai which turns his sword into a skeletal giant-snake like sword that has a head. It can dissemble and reform at Renji's will and can shoot focused reiatsu at the head. As such, Renji is one of only 4 non Captains in the Gotei 13 to have achieved Bankai.
Mihane Shirogane (銀 美羽 Shirogane Mihane ) is the 9th Seat of the 6th Division and the daughter of the division's former lieutenant, Ginjirō Shirogane. She only appears in the Bleach spin-off manga, Colorful Bleach. Mihane works at a very popular eyeglasses store called the Gin Tobo, which is owned by her father Ginjirō Shirogane.
Rikichi (理知気 Rikichi ) is an unseated officer of the 6th Division. He joined the 6th Division because he idolizes Renji Abarai. While Renji was fighting Byakuya, Rikichi sprung Hanatarō Yamada from jail.
He is voiced by Masataka Nakai in the Japanese version and by Liam O'Brien in the English dub.
Kōga Kuchiki (朽木 響河 Kuchiki Kōga ) is introduced as the 3rd Seat of the 6th Division during season thirteen of the anime. He does not appear in the manga. He was a prominent up-and-coming Soul Reaper during a period of civil war in Soul Society, who had recently joined the Kuchiki clan, and was rising through the ranks of the 6th Division.
His Zanpakutō, Muramasa, possessed the ability to enter the hearts or "inner worlds" of Soul Reapers and turn their Zanpakutō against them. He became well respected in Soul Society. But fear of this power coupled with a trio of captains (who were leaders of the civil war) led to his being framed as a treasonous murderer. Despite being imprisoned, as Ginrei defends him from the charges, Kōga is freed by Muramasa with the hope they could build a better world together. However, out of rage, Kōga murdered the three captains that framed him and then went on a killing spree despite Ginrei's attempt to stop him. Over time, Kōga's voice grew fainter and fainter to Muramasa, until the day Ginrei and Yamamoto confronted Kōga and sealed him away, Muramasa never appearing, as he could no longer hear his master's voice.
Centuries passed, and Muramasa eventually learned of Kōga's fate. Materializing in Soul Society, he manipulated the Gotei 13's zanpakutō into forming a rebellion, using them as a cover to capture Yamamoto and, with Ichigo's unwitting assistance, free his master, although Kōga immediately turned on him out of spite for not coming when he had called for him before even though Muramasa claimed that he couldn't hear Kōga. Byakuya then attacked Kōga, revealing that he and Senbonzakura had pretended to be in league with Muramasa in order to find Kōga and kill him, as this had been Ginrei's request to Byakuya should Kōga ever resurface. Destroying his bond with Muramasa completely, Kōga dies alone in battle against Byakuya as his body falls into the water.
'Jin'emon Kotsubaki' (小椿 刃右衛門 Kotsubaki Jin'emon ) is the former lieutenant of the 7th Division under Love Aikawa, appearing in the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. He is also the father of the co-3rd Seat of the 13th Division, Sentarō Kotsubaki. Jin'emon later left his service for unknown reasons.
Sajin Komamura (狛村 左陣 Komamura Sajin ) is the captain of the 7th Division. He is a member of the Werewolf Clan that was once banished to the Animal Realm and transformed to anthropomorphic wolves for committing various crimes; however, they managed to survive and eventually climbed back to Soul Society, although they still retained their beast form. Komamura is very self-conscious about his appearance, and so he wears a large helmet that conceals his entire head when he is first introduced. After his fight with Kenpachi Zaraki (during which his helmet is destroyed), he gains enough confidence to go without the helmet. His canine appearance is often the source of jokes; for example, when his lieutenant asks where to find a bathroom, he appears to direct him to a fire hydrant, though he is in fact pointing at a bathroom just around the corner. Komamura has a close friendship with Kaname Tōsen and is shocked when the latter defects from Soul Society, feeling that his friend has abandoned his morals. Komamura resolves to awaken Tōsen with his own hands. However, after seeing his former friend's motives and ideology, realizes he has no choice but to fight him. Komamura is immensely strong as demonstrated by his ability to hurl the arrancar Poww's massive released state over his head and onto the ground. Komamura engages Tōsen in battle until his former friend is defeated by Shuhei Hisagi and dies. Later, during the Wandenreich invasion of Soul Society, Komamura battles the Stern Ritter Bambietta Basterbine by releasing his bankai; however, he ends up getting his bankai stolen by her. During the short break after the first invasion, he visited his gigantic werewolf grandfather to train, saying that he no longer feels ashamed of his ancestry. When the Wandenreich begins their second invasion, Komamura confronts Bambietta again, this time being able to retrieve his bankai and is revealed to have transformed into human, thanks to the Human Transformation Technique his grandfather had done, which could transform the members of the Werewolf Clan back to their form before their punishment at the cost of their hearts.
Komamura's zanpakutō is Tenken (天譴, literally "divine punishment", translated in the English manga as "sword of heavenly retribution"). Once released with the command "roar" (轟け todoroke ), Tenken creates various body parts of a giant to copy whatever body part Komamura moves; for example, should Komamura swing his sword, a gigantic disembodied arm wielding a sword appears and does the same thing. Tenken's bankai, Kokujō Tengen Myō'ō (黒縄天譴明王, roughly "vidyarāja of black-roped divine punishment", translated in the English manga as "divine retribution, black ropes of ruination") brings forth the entire giant, which also copies Komamura's movements. Though extremely destructive, Komamura's bankai has a major weakness; any damage inflicted on the giant is reflected upon Komamura, and any damage done to the giant's sword is reflected upon his zanpakutō, as shown when Aizen breaks Komamura's sword and severs his left arm. This weakness essentially makes it a bigger target to a strong enough opponent. According to Tosen, Komamura's Bankai is supposed to finish off the opponent in one hit, which could mean its weakness is to balance out its immense strength. While the weakness may seem overwhelming at first glance, Komamura and his bankai sharing one another's pain is also an advantage; because of the connection the two share, Komamura's bankai will heal at a rate proportional to how much Komamura heals, making it the only bankai in the Soul Society capable of being restored without needing to be modified or reforged. After attaining his Human Transformation technique, Komamura's bankai gains a new ability, Dangai Jōe (断鎧縄衣, Garments of Cord and Broken Armor). In this form, the giant sheds its armor and becomes more agile and demonic in appearance. Due to the nature of Komamura's Human Transformation Technique, the giant and Komamura become virtually immune to physical damage. Tengen appears as a free Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, bearing resemblance to the Buddhist deity Fudo Myo'oh, wielding a sword and a bolas, and can attack with fire.
Tetsuzaemon Iba (射場 鉄左衛門 Iba Tetsuzaemon ) is the lieutenant of the 7th Division. He is originally from the 11th Division, having transferred once realizing he would never be promoted to lieutenant if he had stayed. His former compatriots look down upon him because of this, though Iba still enjoys a good fight and usually spends his free time with 11th Division members. He and Ikkaku Madarame have a custom of dueling with each other, drinking sake, then dueling again to see who has to get more. Iba has a distinctive hair cut and wears black sunglasses with his standard Soul Reaper uniform. Iba is well-rounded in both swordsmanship and kidō, only because it made becoming a lieutenant easier.
The name of Iba's zanpakutō is unknown as well as its abilities. In its released state, Iba's Zanpakutō extends into a falchion or a large bladed scimitar with a pick-like protrusion a short distance below the tip of the sword.
He is voiced by Rintarou Nishi in the Japanese version and by Steve Cassling in the English dub.
Jirōbō Ikkanzaka (一貫坂慈楼坊 Ikkanzaka Jirōbō ) is the former 4th seat of the 7th Division. He is the younger brother of Jidanbō Ikkanzaka, the gatekeeper who guards the entry to Seireitei. He appeared only once to fight Uryū Ishida and Orihime Inoue when they were in Sereitei trying to rescue Rukia. He tries to kill Inoue, but is quickly defeated by Uryū, who pierces Jirōbō's Chain of Fate and Soul Sleep with his arrows, resulting in the permanent loss of Jirōbō's Soul Reaper powers.
Jirōbō's zanpakutō is Tsunzakigarasu (劈烏 literally "Splitting Crow" ). The shikai command is "flap away" (羽搏きなさい, habatakinasai; "Spread Your Wings" in the English dub). It consists of countless flying curved blades, which he can control using telekinesis. Although the blades move faster than the eye can see, they can be easily destroyed or dodged using Flash Step or other fast-moving techniques.
Lisa Yadōmaru (矢胴丸 リサ Yadōmaru Risa ) was the lieutenant of the 8th Division under Shunsui Kyōraku during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. She is forced to leave Soul Society after becoming a Visored.
Tatsufusa Enjōji (円乗寺 辰房 Enjōji Tatsufusa ) is the 3rd seat of the Eighth Division. When Ichigo and friends invaded the Soul Society to rescue Rukia, Tatsufusa tried to prevent Yasutora "Chad" Sado from reaching her only to be defeated by Yasutora.
Kensei Muguruma (六車 拳西 Muguruma Kensei ) is the captain of the 9th Division during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. He leaves Soul Society after becoming a Visored. After Aizen's defeat, he is allowed to return to Soul Society and reinstated as captain of the 9th Division. He appears when Ichigo shows up in Seireitei and tells Ichigo to go in the captain's room to talk with Captain-Commander Yamamoto. Ichigo is surprised to see that he was reinstated and Kensei orders Ichigo to enter the room.
Kensei's Zanpakutō is named Tachikaze (断地風, lit. earth-severing wind) and is released with the command "Blow". His shikai shrinks it down into the form of a survival/combat knife. While in this form, Kensei demonstrates the ability to charge and fire spiritual energy from the blade. Tachikaze can also manipulate wind, as demonstrated when Kensei uses several wind blades to slice up a hollow, killing it instantly. His hollow mask resembles an ice hockey mask, with several rectangular slits. Kensei's bankai is named Tekken Tachikaze (鐡拳・断地風, lit. Iron Fist Earth-Severing Wind). The combat knife transforms into two bladed, bronze knuckle-like weapons known as tiger claws in each hand that are connected by a long fabric-like material that wraps around and up his arms like bandages and form a small arc above his head. Its abilities are unknown.
Mashiro Kuna (久南 真白 Kuna Mashiro ) was the lieutenant of the 9th Division under Kensei Muguruma during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. She leaves Soul Society after becoming a Visored. After Aizen is defeated, she is allowed to return to Soul Society and is reinstated as the co-lieutenant of the 9th Division, sharing the position with Shūhei Hisagi.
Heizō Kasaki (笠城 平蔵 Kasaki Heizō ) was the 3rd Seat of the 9th Division during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. He was sent along with other high-ranking 9th Division members to investigate the disappearances in Rukongai. When the case became more serious with the disappearance of Soul Reapers as well, Kasaki and the others set up a tent to trace the culprit. Kasaki was inside the tent with captain Kensei Muguruma and lieutenant Mashiro Kuna when they heard screams outside the tent. He and Kensei went outside to find Shinobu Eishima, Kaname Tōsen, and Izaemon Tōdō lying dead on the ground. Shortly thereafter, Tōsen (who faked his death) get up and killed Kasaki.
He is voiced by Daisuke Matsuoka in the Japanese version and Kyle Hebert in the English dub.
Shinobu Eishima (衛島 忍 Eishima Shinobu ) was the 4th Seat of the 9th Division during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. He, along with captain Kensei Muguruma and other high-ranking 9th Division members were sent to investigate the disappearances in Rukongai. After an attack of a Hollow and the disappearances of several Soul Reapers who were sent earlier, Shinobu was sent to inform the Central 46 about the case. Later, he stood guard outside the captain's tent with Kaname Tōsen, later joined by Izaemon Tōdō. However, Tōsen betrayed the others and killed Eishima and Tōdō, before faking his own death.
He is voiced by Motoyuki Kawahara in the Japanese version and by Yuri Lowenthal in the English dub.
Izaemon Tōdō (藤堂 為左衛門 Tōdō Izaemon ) was the 6th Seat of the 9th Division during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. He was sent to investigate the disappearances in Rukongai, along with other high-ranking 9th Division members. They found several Shihakushō belonging to the Soul Reapers who were sent there before, causing Kensei to sent Tōdō to retrieve a researcher from the 12th Division for help. He returned to the camp later and stood guard outside, alongside Shinobu Eishima and Kaname Tōsen. However, Tōsen betrayed the others and killed Tōdō and Eishima, before faking his death.
Kaname Tōsen (東仙 要 Tōsen Kaname ) was the captain of the 9th Division at the start of the series, formerly the 5th Seat of the division during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. He had been blind since birth, but was capable of using his spiritual sense to "see". Tōsen was an extremely calm and serious pacifist, though he will not restrain from fighting for what he believes in or to preserve justice. His philosophies were adopted from a peaceful friend he had before becoming a Soul Reaper. When the peaceful friend's husband killed her for nagging him, Tōsen became disillusioned that such a righteous person could be killed for such an insignificant reason. After the murder, his creed in life became "take the path with the least bloodshed". He felt it necessary to join Sōsuke Aizen in defecting from the Soul Reapers at the conclusion of the Soul Society arc. However, during his battle against Komamura in the Fake Karakura Town, it is revealed that the reason he betrayed the Soul Reapers was because he saw injustice in the Soul Society's refusal to administer capital punishment to his friend's killer.
The Zanpakutō Tōsen uses originally belonged to his now-deceased friend and is called Suzumushi (清虫, literally "pure insects", but read as "cricket"; translated in the English manga as "bell bug"). In its sealed form, Suzumushi looks like a regular katana; its crossguard shaped like a tear drop, with several teardrop-shaped holes at the wide part of the teardrop. Unlike most Zanpakutō, Suzumushi has two shikai commands, each producing a unique automatic effect. With one, Suzumushi projects a high-pitched tone over a wide area which overloads the hearing of anyone in range and knocks them unconscious, his first release command is "Cry" (鳴け Nake ). When the second release is commanded, Suzumushi changes into Suzumushi Nishiki: Benihikō (清虫二式紅飛蝗, literally "Suzumushi, second style: crimson grasshopper"), which creates a trail when swung that turns into hundreds of blades that rain down on his opponents. Suzumushi's Bankai, named Suzumushi Tsuishiki: Enma Kōrogi (清虫終式紅閻魔蟋蟀, literally "Suzumushi, final style: Enma cricket") creates a large, black dome centered at Tōsen's location and anchored to the ground with ten rings. Anyone within the dome loses four of their five senses, retaining only the sensation of touch. The weakness of this technique is that whoever is touching Suzumushi's hilt is immune to the dome's effects, so anyone able to grab Suzumushi recovers their senses for as long as they remain in contact with the hilt.
During his battle with Komamura in the Fake Karakura Town, Tōsen reveals that Aizen has given him hollow powers. Tōsen's hollow mask grants him instant regenerative abilities, as well as speed and strength that enable him to contend with Komamura's giant bankai. Tōsen can further augment his powers using his resurrección Grillar Grillo (狂枷蟋蟀 (グリジャル・グリージョ) Gurijaru Gurījo , Spanish for "chirping cricket," Japanese for "lunatic shackles cricket") to assume an insectoid Hollow form with eyes that can see as well as fire cero. His ultimate attack in this form is Los Nueve Aspectos (九相輪殺 (ロス・ヌウェベ・アスペクトス) Rosu Nuwebe Asupekutosu , Spanish for "the nine aspects," Japanese for "nine pagoda finial kill"), which creates powerful sonic-like waves that tear through the enemy via hand movements resembling kuji-in.
Though he nearly succeeded in killing Komamura with his newfound Hollow powers, Tōsen, with his new sight, forgot about everything else around him and is stabbed through the head when Hisagi releases his zanpakutō. Mortally wounded and returning to his old self, he shed a tear for Komamura when the latter tells him that losing Tōsen would be unbearable for him. He then called Hisagi to his side, but as he requested to see Hisagi's face clearly once more, Tōsen died in an explosion of blood, seemingly caused by Aizen.
Shūhei Hisagi (檜佐木 修兵 Hisagi Shūhei ) is the co-lieutenant of the 9th Division, sharing the position with Mashiro Kuna. As a child he was saved by the then 9th Division captain, Kensei Muguruma. In later years Shūhei has a "69" tattoo on the left side of his face, matching the one Kensei has on his stomach. There also may be a connection with his zanpakutō and Kensei's zanpakutō, as they both use Kaze, or wind. While acting as an instructor at the Soul Reaper academy, Shūhei's class was attacked by a hollow and in fighting it he received a distinctive scar across his face. Shūhei is an extremely mature and calm individual, allowing him to get along well with his captain, Kaname Tōsen. After Tōsen defects from Soul Society, Shūhei assumes the duties of his captain as an acting replacement. Though he swore to help Komamura "open the eyes" of his former captain, in the end he is forced to attack Tōsen to keep him from killing Komamura. According to series creator Tite Kubo, Hisagi became fairly popular with fans long before his backstory and personality were really explored, an abnormality among Bleach characters.
Shūhei's Zanpakutō is Kazeshini (風死, literally "Death Wind"). When released with the command "reap" (刈れ kare ), it takes the form of two kusarigama-like weapons, with two blades curving both directions, connected by a long chain. Although he dislikes the shape of his weapon because it is "shaped like something meant to reap life itself," he is extremely proficient at wielding it, capable of using the blades as both hand-to-hand weapons and projectiles, using the chain to make the weapons' paths unpredictable. Kazeshini appears as a free Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, appearing as a violent demonic-looking being who has issues with Shūhei.
Toshimori Umesada (梅定敏盛 Umesada Toshimori ) is the 20th seat of the 9th Division (a position he shares with 15 other Soul Reapers). When Ichigo and his friends raid the Soul Society, Orihime Inoue and Uryū Ishida pose as squad members and have an encounter with him. After an argument with Uryū where no suspicious people were found in his squad, Toshimori storms out stating that he will not forget this.
Prior to taking his wife's surname, Ichigo's father Isshin Shiba (志波一心 Shiba Isshin ) was originally captain of the 10th Division two decades ago. It is unknown what his relationships are with the other members of the "Shiba", most notably with Kaien Shiba, who bears a strong resemblance to Ichigo. Most of his actions as a Soul Reaper remain unknown, except for the events at Naruki City, where he met the Quincy Masaki Kurosaki while fighting Aizen's Hollow White. When Masaki is bitten by White, she undergoes Hollowfication that is stopped when Isshin renounces his Soul Reaper powers and links his soul to hers to halt the process. This resulted in Isshin remaining in the World of Living as Isshin Kurosaki (黒崎 一心 Kurosaki Isshin ). Having lost Masaki to the elusive Hollow Grand Fisher, Isshin's Soul Reaper status is restored, but he keeps this a secret from his children for some time. When his son confronts Grand Fisher but fails to kill him, Isshin eventually manages the task, with his only regret being that he did not have the power to save Masaki before her death. Isshin also aids Ichigo during his fight with Aizen, appearing just as the villain was about to reveal his son's lineage as the offspring of a Soul Reaper and a Quincy. Seventeen months later, after Ichigo regains his Soul Reaper power and the Wandenreich complete their first invasion of the Soul Society, Isshin appears to Ichigo in his Soul Reaper attire and explains Ichigo's past to him.
Having unbelievable spiritual pressure, despite being knocked by Ichigo at times, Isshin is tremendously powerful. Issin's zanpakutō is called "Engetsu" (剡月, Scathing Moon), which is similar to Zangetsu and has the same shikai attack "Getsuga Tensho". The release command is "Burn" (燃えろ moero ), whereupon the blade becomes wreathed in a flame like energy emanating from the tassels. Spitting blood onto the blade creates a huge wave of spiritual energy. His Bankai is yet to be shown in the current storyline, but is noted by Aizen to put a considerable strain on his body, thus being unusable if Isshin is heavily injured.
Tōshirō Hitsugaya (日番谷 冬獅郎 Hitsugaya Tōshirō ) is the captain of the 10th Division and the youngest captain in the history of Soul Society, formerly the 3rd Seat of the division. His Zanpakutō is called Hyorinmaru (氷輪丸, literally "ice ring", idiomatically "full moon"); its shikai command is "Reign over the frosted heavens" (霜天に坐せ Sōten ni Zase , literally "Reign over the frozen heavens"). Hyōrinmaru is the strongest of all ice/snow element Zanpakutō in Soul Society, which allows Hitsugaya to manipulate these elements to his will. Hyōrinmaru's spirit is a winged Chinese dragon made of ice. Hyōrinmaru appears as a free Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, as a tall young man with long-flowing green hair and dragon limbs.
Hitsugaya was close childhood friends with Momo Hinamori, the lieutenant of the 5th division under Sōsuke Aizen. Hitsugaya is often called Shiro-chan or "Lil' Shiro"(Japanese for the color 'white', presumably because of his white hair color) by Hinamori, though he strongly disliked the name and would call her "bed-wetter Momo" in reply. Despite this, however, they maintained a close relationship, since Hinamori was one of the two people who did not find Hitsugaya scary when they lived in Rukongai, the other being his grandmother. Because of their close relationship, Hitsugaya blames himself for the events that followed after Hinamori fell prey to Aizen's illusions. Examples of this would be when Hinamori attempted to kill him after receiving a note from Aizen, who faked his own death in order to disappear from Soul Society, and when Hitsugaya severely injured her during battle due to Aizen’s shikai ability, which was Kyōka Suigetsu, or Complete Hypnosis. In the latest development of the storyline in the anime, Hitsugaya is seen training to become more powerful in order to more adequately protect Hinamori and anyone else who comes into contact with him in the future.
Though Hitsugaya maintains an extremely mature, and almost unflappable persona, it is hinted that he was a bit of a "wild boy" type character before becoming a Soul Reaper. He finds it especially annoying when people (other than other soul reaper captains) call him by his given name, or omit his honorific title when addressing him. This fact is used for the dual purpose of being a bit of a running gag, and generating his catchphrase: "That's Captain Hitsugaya to you!" (usually spoken with a sweatdrop or popped vein effect). His other running gag is when others often refer to his lack of height, causing them to believe he is an elementary student. He has a weakness for amanattō.
Rangiku Matsumoto (松本 乱菊 Matsumoto Rangiku ) is the lieutenant of the 10th Division. She often avoids her duties as a lieutenant so that she can go shopping or drinking with her fellow lieutenants. She usually uses her beauty, or her famously exposed cleavage and large breasts to gain attention or to manipulate others to get what she wants. Despite avoiding her responsibilities, Rangiku is very serious and thoughtful when carrying out her duties as a lieutenant and often her peers and subordinates look to her for important advice. She is also a competent and skilled fighter and is capable enough to overwhelm another strong lieutenant such as Izuru Kira or an arrancar. She is able to withstand long enough to fight three strong fraccion of Tier Halibel. Rangiku has known ex-captain Gin Ichimaru since they were children. Gin found her almost mutilated before Aizen's minions could kill her, thus saving her life. They remained quite close even after joining the Gotei 13 until Gin's betrayal when he sided with Aizen (to protect Rangiku and take revenge against Aizen for ever hurting her, although Rangiku was unaware of this). Rangiku is shown to be the only person Gin genuinely cares for. She is shown to care for him deeply, mourning him greatly after his selfless death, as noted by Nanao Ise.
She persuaded Tōshirō Hitsugaya, while he was still residing in Rukongai, to join the Gotei 13 to gain control over his spiritual pressure. The two of them have grown close ever since. Although Hitsugaya always bickers about her drinking habit and laziness, she has an unwavering loyalty and devotion to him and frequently tries to get him to lighten up, despite his serious attitude. Before Hitsugaya, Rangiku also had a close relationship with her former captain, Isshin Shiba, who is just as lazy as herself. She often threw her responsibilities to Isshin, who would then retaliated to her back.
Rangiku's Zanpakutō is Haineko (灰猫, literally "ash cat"). Its guard is in the shape of a cat's head. When released with the command "Growl" (唸れ Unare ), the blade dissolves into ash. In combat, Matsumoto can control the movement of the ash, and cut anything it lands on by moving the hilt. The ash is also solid enough to be used as a shield to block enemy attacks. Due to her laziness, she has difficulty achieving bankai. Series creator, Tite Kubo identifies Rangiku as one of his two favorite female characters in the series, citing that he "has a lot of fun drawing her and creating stories with her." Haineko appears as a free Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc as a woman with cat features often fighting with Tobiume for a running gag.
Kōkichirō Takezoe (竹添 幸吉郎 Takezoe Kōkichirō ) is the 7th Seat in 10th Division under Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya. Not much is known about him except for the fact that he was mentioned in Tōshirō and Rangiku's talk about Gin Ichimaru's involvement in Sōsuke Aizen's murder. Kōkichirō later informs both of them that Renji Abarai, Izuru Kira, and Momo Hinamori have escaped from their cells.
Kenpachi Kiganjō (鬼厳城 剣八 Kiganjō Kenpachi ) was the captain of the 11th Division immediately preceding Kenpachi Zaraki, primarily known as the 10th Kenpachi. Before he became captain, his name was Gosuke Kiganjō (鬼厳城 五助 Kiganjō Gosuke ). He appeared in the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden, set 100 years before the main story. Kiganjō was bloodthirsty like all other captains of the division, though he was shown to be extremely lazy, as he often failed to attend the captains' meeting, as stated by Shinji Hirako. His position was eventually relinquished, along with his life, during Zaraki's captaincy test, which required him killing Kiganjō while watched by 200 members of the 11th Division.
Kenpachi Zaraki (更木 剣八 Zaraki Kenpachi ) is the most recent captain of the 11th Division. Unlike all of his predecessors, he has given himself the title of "Kenpachi," a title given to the man in each generation who enjoys fighting more than anyone else and has the greatest blood-lust; it roughly translates as "no matter how many times you cut him, he will never fall." He is also the only captain who cannot use Bankai because of his inability to sense reiatsu has made it hard for him to learn the name of his sword. Set on his inability to be cut down, he has made several changes to aid his enemy in battle and thus prolong good fights. He wears bells in his hair to announce his presence and movements, but they can only be heard if you have enough "spiritual energy" to sense them. He utilizes an eye-patch that eats at his reiatsu, lowering his strength and power by large numbers, since he cannot sense or control reiatsu. With the patch gone his full strength emerges, and the vast scale of his reiatsu makes his sword sharper than other Zanpakuto.
Yachiru Kusajishi (草鹿 やちる Kusajishi Yachiru ) is the lieutenant of the 11th Division. She is most recognizable by her mid-length, bright pink hair. She is childlike in most aspects, as she is small, cute, cheerful, and carefree most of the time. She was found as an infant by Kenpachi Zaraki in the 79th District of Rukongai's North Alley, "Kusajishi", the second-most violent area of Rukongai; Kenpachi himself was from the 80th District, the most violent. Despite being drenched in blood and having just killed a large group of men, Kenpachi did not frighten her—She even touched the zanpakuto Kenpachi had killed the men with, unfazed by the blood soaking it. Kenpachi named her "Yachiru", in memory of the one person he ever admired, the current captain of the 4th Division, Yachiru "Retsu" Unohana. Since that day she has spent much of her time clinging to his back for transport. Like Zaraki, she has no sense of direction, even though he relies on her to find his way; when Kenpachi asks her for directions, her usual response is to simply point in a random direction. Yachiru resents being criticized in any way and will often attack the perpetrator in comical fashion. Further reflecting her childlike nature, Yachiru likes to give people nicknames; for example, she calls her captain Ken-chan ("Kenny" in the English version) and calls Byakuya Bya-kun. Various Bleach omakes show that Yachiru has an absolute love for candy, which is often exploited by other characters to bribe her into leaving them alone. Despite her childlike appearance, Yachiru is apparently quite strong, being capable of lifting Kenpachi and leaping between buildings while carrying him. She is also very fast for her size. She can emit a large amount of spiritual power when angry, which forms into a large, pink, angry cat face. She also has a very high spiritual pressure.
The name and abilities of Yachiru's Zanpakutō are both unknown. In its sealed state Yachiru's Zanpakutō takes the form of a small, pink wakizashi which she drags around on a string. Two wheels attached to the bottom of the sheath for her by Ikkaku Madarame facilitate this.
Ikkaku Madarame (斑目 一角 Madarame Ikkaku ) is the 3rd Seat of the 11th Division. He is a battle-loving man with a bald head. He fought and was defeated by Kenpachi Zaraki sometime in the past, though was strong enough to survive the battle. Once Zaraki became captain of the 11th Division, Ikkaku and his friend Yumichika Ayasegawa joined the Soul Reapers so that they could fight and die under Zaraki's command. He shares a number of similarities with his captain such as seeking enjoyment in battles by risking his life. He is reportedly the second strongest man in the division. Though strong enough to take a position as a captain, Ikkaku insists his one mission in life is to die under the command of Zaraki.
Ikkaku's Zanpakutō is Hōzukimaru (鬼灯丸, referring to the Japanese name for the winter cherry, meaning "demon light"). Though ordinary in appearance, he stores a blood-clotting ointment in its hilt. When released by the command "extend" (延びろ nobiro ), it transforms into a yari with a wax wood shaft. While he usually treats it as such, he can also turn its shaft into a three section staff to surprise the opponent by using the command "split" (裂けろ sakero ). Ikkaku has achieved bankai, though he keeps this a secret to most characters so that he is not pressured to become a captain. Hōzukimaru's bankai, named Ryūmon Hōzukimaru (龍紋鬼灯丸, literally "dragon-crest demon light"), takes the form of three oversized weapons connected by a thick chain: two blades in each of his hands and a fan-shaped blade, adorned with a carving of a Chinese dragon, which floats behind him. Aside from the increase in power, his Bankai offers no special abilities, and is noted to be unusual for a bankai in this aspect. However, the blades appear to have a generally weak integrity for a bankai, as shown when combating the thirteenth Arrancar, Edorad Leones, and later when fighting his released zanpakutō while it was in bankai, using nothing but his own katana and spiritual pressure to shatter the bankai's blades. As a fight progresses, the dragon crest will slowly begin to glow crimson, greatly increasing its power as it does so. He claims that it is lazy and only fully awakens when the dragon crest is fully crimson. Hozukimaru appears as a free Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, resembling a large muscular oni who possesses the same mannerisms as his master, but is usually lazy about it. Mayuri later notes that after the fight with Edrad, even though Akon repaired it, Ikkaku's bankai has weakened.
Yumichika Ayasegawa (綾瀬川 弓親 Ayasegawa Yumichika ) is the 5th Seat of the 11th Division and a lifelong friend of Ikkaku Madarame. He values Ikkaku's opinion very highly and tends to follow him everywhere. The two joined the Soul Reapers so that they could serve under Kenpachi Zaraki. Since Ikkaku took the 3rd seat position, Yumichika decided to become the 5th seat because he thinks its a beautiful number. He has colorful feathers on his eyelashes and eyebrow as well as shiny skin and hair, giving him a rather womanly appearance. Narcissistic and vain, Yumichika judges everyone and everything by beauty. He goes so far as to try to forget things he deems "ugly" after seeing them and even tries fighting an ugly opponent with his eyes closed. In the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, it is shown that Yumichika is able to use kidō spells, a trait uncharacteristic for a member of the Eleventh Squad.
Yumichika's Zanpakutō is Ruri'iro Kujaku (瑠璃色孔雀, literally "azure peacock," translated in the anime as Sapphire), a kidō-type zanpakutō. However, since the 11th Division has an unspoken rule that zanpakutō are only to be used for direct attack, Yumichika keeps this fact secret. According to himself, he would risk dying to conceal his zanpakuto's true power. To conceal it, he releases with the name Fuji Kujaku (藤孔雀, literally "rattan peacock," translated in the anime as Violet) with the command "bloom" (咲け sake ), causing the vexed weapon to assume a form consisting of a sickle-shaped blade which can split into four identical blades. During the fight with Arrancar Charlotte Cuhlhourne, Yumichika tells him that his zanpakuto has a favorite and least favorite color and this is why he releases it as Fuji Kujaku [wisteria is the least favorite color). When confident he will be able to keep it a secret, he uses his zanpakutō's real name and command "tear in frenzy" (裂き狂え sakikurue ) to assume its true released form with the blades splitting into vines which bind the opponent and siphon their spiritual energy into flowers which can restore Yumichika's health when their petals are eaten. Yumichika claims that a full drain from his zanpakuto can kill an opponent, which is proved when he kills an Arrancar. Ruri'iro Kujaku appears as a free Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc as a harpy-like male who is out for Yumichika for being called by his fake name by attempting to expose his master's full potential.
Makizō Aramaki (荒巻 真木造 Aramaki Makizō ) is the 10th seat of the 11th division. Nicknamed Maki-Maki by Yachiru Kusajishi, he is often very timid and cowardly, in contrast to other members of the 11th division. Aramaki makes his first appearance when he, by chance, encounters Orihime Inoue and Uryū Ishida as they travel across Seireitei disguised as Soul Reapers. Despite being drunk, he sees through Orihime and Uryū's lie claiming to be part of the 11th Division. However, during an attack by 12th division captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi which kills several members of the 12th division, Orihime protects Uryū and him with her Shun Shun Rikka abilities. Aramaki is confused by why Orihime is upset with the deaths of the 12th Division Soul Reapers and why she saved him.
As Uryū begins fighting Mayuri, he orders Aramaki to take Orihime to safety, threatening to shoot him if he does not comply. As Aramaki retreats with Orihime, Orihime demands that she let him go so that she can help Uryū, but he refuses. When Orihime bites him, he knocks her unconscious, and shortly thereafter, encounters Yachiru. Yachiru has him take her back to the 11th Division barracks so that she could lead Kenpachi Zaraki to Ichigo. He accompanies them as they look for Ichigo, questioning them on why they would go so far for a friend. The group eventually catch up to Ichigo after his victory over Byakuya Kuchiki. When Ichigo asks who he is, he says that he is nobody important and that Ichigo should just pretend that he is not there.
Maki Ichinose (一之瀬 真樹 Ichinose Maki ), introduced during the anime's Bount arc, left the 11th Division after Kenpachi Zaraki killed the previous captain. He traveled the human world, but one day, while in a weakened state in a desert, he fell upon a hollow that almost killed him; the hollow was subdued by Jin Kariya, who allowed Maki to kill it. Maki swore his loyalty to Jin after that, only breaking the vow once to fight Zaraki. He helps the Bounts infiltrate the Soul Society, and gets to fight Zaraki Kenpachi but is killed by Kariya once his purpose is fulfilled.
Maki's Zanpakutō is called Nijigasumi (虹霞, literally "rainbow mist"). Its shikai form is activated by the command "shine brightly" (光華閃け kōka hirameke ) or "flash and burst" in the English Dub. When released, Nijigasumi glows with rainbow colors and has the ability to control light for various purposes. It can make Maki turn invisible or douse the area in light, playing havoc with opponents' counterattacks. It can also use light offensively, creating blades of light to cut or crush opponents. His Zanpakutō later helps in Kariya's defeat, acting as a lightning rod for Kariya's attacks.
Kisuke Urahara (浦原 喜助 Urahara Kisuke ), once the 3rd Seat of the 2nd Division, replaces Kirio Hikifune as the captain of the 12th Division during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. While Urahara often acts immature and light-hearted, he is a cunning and highly analytical man; Sōsuke Aizen regards him as one of the few people whose intellect may exceed his own. During his period as the captain of the 12th Division, he creates the 12th Division's Technical Research Bureau. For the new department, he recruits Mayuri Kurotsuchi as the 12th Division's third seat and Vice-President of the newly established research institute; Mayuri only agrees to Urahara's request because Urahara remarks that Mayuri would likely inherit everything should anything happen to Urahara. Urahara is also responsible for the creation of Hogyoku, which he originally developed as a means to break the boundary between Soul Reapers and Hollows, but later found out that its true power is to grant its user's wishes. Aizen is the only people who knew about it and as he desired it, Urahara went on to hide the Hogyoku in the gigai of Rukia Kuchiki. After Aizen conducted his hollowfication experiments, he framed Urahara and Tessai Tsukabishi for the incident and they are almost executed if not for Yoruichi's intervention, with the three and the hollowfied Soul Reapers seeking refugee at the Human World, while Mayuri became the new captain of 12th Division. In the Human World, Urahara sets up his own shop, selling items imported from Soul Society. He frequently helps Ichigo and his friends, usually when they need to travel to other worlds, such as Soul Society and Hueco Mundo. He also contributes to Aizen's eventual defeat; by placing a special kidō that traps him until he can be transported back to Soul Society.
Urahara's Zanpakutō is Benihime (紅姫, lit. "Crimson Princess"). Its release command is "Awaken" (起きろ Okiro ). His shikai has several special techniques, including Nake, Benihime (啼け紅姫, lit. "Sing, Crimson Princess"), which shoots a red stream of light quickly that will cut through most things and objects, such as buildings and opponents. He can also create a hexagon-shaped barrier in front of him for defensive purposes. Shibari, Benihime (縛り紅姫) allows him to send condensed energy in the form of blood-red net, which can be followed by Hiasobi, Benihime, Juzutsunagi (火遊 紅姫 数珠繋), where small round orbs of fire start to come out of the net which will erupt on the opponent. His Bankai has not been revealed, although it has been referenced several times in the story, such as him stating that he achieved it in only three days using a special method that is eventually used by Ichigo to achieve his own.
Hiyori Sarugaki (猿柿 ひよ里 Sarugaki Hiyori ) is the former lieutenant of the 12th Division under Kirio Hikifune and then Kisuke Urahara as detailed in the Turn Back the Pendulum arc. Hiyori is a small, blonde-haired girl with a short temper and violent tendencies that include death threats and physical violence to even those who technically outrank her like Shinji. Because of her close relationship with Hikifune, Hiyori initially loathed Kisuke and refused to embrace the change he made to Sqaud 12 but eventually accepted him and works at the newly established research institute situated at Squad 12. She is forced to leave the Soul Society with other Soul Reapers who are transformed into Vizoreds, taking the longest out of the group to master her inner Hollow. During the battle with Aizen, Hiyori was mortally wounded yet was healed by Captain Unohana in the aftermath.
Her zanpakuto is named Kubikiri Orochi (馘大蛇, lit. "beheading serpent") and is released with the command "chop cleanly" to become a large cleaver with a jagged edge. After becoming a Vizored, Hiyori can increase her abilities using a skeletal Hollow mask with a large horn on the forehead and diamond-shaped markings over the eyebrows.
Mayuri Kurotsuchi (涅 マユリ Kurotsuchi Mayuri ) is the captain of the 12th Division and President of the Shinigami Research Institute, preceded in both by Kisuke Urahara. He personifies the archetype of the mad scientist, viewing everyone as objects to be dissected in the lab. He takes great pride in his experiments and the things he has created, such as his "daughter," Nemu, and condemns the concept of perfection. He has made extensive modifications to his body. His left arm can extend like a grappling hook, he can form a scythe by pulling out his ears, and can even replace his organs with dummies. Mayuri has little regard for life or allegiances, even going as far as turning his own subordinates into human bombs on one occasion. Because he experimented on many Quincies, including Uryu's master, he is often considered Uryu Ishida's nemesis. In the past, the potential danger he posed to the Soul Society led to his imprisonment when he joined the Soul Reapers. It is noteworthy that, in the prison he was held in, he was the only one considered dangerous enough to warrant a separate cell from other prisoners as well as restraints. Kisuke Urahara, upon becoming captain of the 12th Division, recognized his potential as a scientist and released Mayuri to help him with his research and to assist him in running his newly founded Shinigami Research Institute. In return, Urahara promised him the Division and position as President of the Research Institute if anything were to happen to him. To a certain degree, Mayuri holds a grudging respect for Urahara and his skills, though is visibly affronted when compared to Urahara by Ichigo. He has also shown that he can recreate the Arrancar's way of travel, the Garganta, when he sent Ichigo to the Fake Karakura Town to engage Sōsuke Aizen in combat. His skill with making poisons is formidable, however, Retsu Unohana, the 4th Division Captain, has been able to cure every poison he has made to date.
Mayuri Kurotsuchi's Zanpakutō is Ashisogi Jizō (疋殺地蔵, roughly "leg-cutting Buddha"). When released with the command "Rip" (掻き毟れ kakimushire ), Ashisogi Jizō's blade transforms into a deformed trident head. When it stabs an opponent, it emits a poison that severs the nerve signals that control limb movement, paralyzing that limb regardless of where it was struck. However, unlike normal paralysis, the affected area is still able to feel pain, something which is rather fitting for Mayuri's demented tendencies. Ashisogi Jizō's bankai, named Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō (金色疋殺地蔵, literally "golden leg-cutting Buddha", translated in the English manga as "divine leg-cutting Buddha"), takes the form of a giant caterpillar with a baby's head and a silver halo. The creature breathes a poisonous derivative of Mayuri's blood which is lethal to anyone who breathes it, aside from himself and Nemu. It can also run through and skewer opponents with the multiple blades that erupt from its chest. Mayuri has physically modified his bankai so that it will self-destruct and return to its sealed state if it attacks him. It is also shown that Mayuri changes the poison he uses every time he shows his bankai. Ashisogi Jizo appears as a free Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc as a small, baby-like creature with butterfly wings. As a final defensive measure, Mayuri can reduce himself to liquid form for three days by stabbing himself with his Zanpakutō. This leaves him unable to attack or be attacked, making it a very effective escape tool.
Nemu Kurotsuchi (涅 ネム Kurotsuchi Nemu ) is the lieutenant of the 12th Division. She is the artificially created daughter of Mayuri Kurotsuchi, a combination of his research in artificial bodies (義骸 gigai ) and artificial souls (義魂 gikon ). This past has driven her to become rather introverted and passive, preferring to stay silent in her captain's presence. Their relationship is far from the average father-daughter one, as Mayuri does not appear to care much for Nemu's well-being, even using her as bait in combat, and mending her damaged body only when he needs her. Unlike her father, however, she seems to have compassion for others, saving Uryū Ishida's life as thanks when he does not kill Mayuri. Often when she does speak it is in a subdued monotone, and at least one comical instance she mixes up the colloquial usage of the word "cheese!" when taking a picture with the word "butter."
Nemu's body was designed to withstand fatal wounds, though she still suffers the pain brought on by her injuries. Nemu is also immune to Mayuri's many poisons. Despite this, she carries around a variety of antidotes to be used as she sees fit. She also holds various poisons and potions derived from Mayuri's research in her own body, making her highly dangerous to those who would eat her or attack her internally. In addition to having superhuman strength, she is also capable of boring through obstacles by rotating an arm at high speeds with the hand functioning as a drill-bit. Nemu does not normally carry a zanpakutō, but she is shown to have one in an illustration in the artbook "All Color but the Black". Her Zanpakutō takes the form of what appears to be a thin katana.
Akon (阿近 Akon ) is the 3rd Seat of the 12th Division and Vice-President of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute. He is a tall man with three small horn-like structures on his head. He joined the Department of Research and Development as a child during Turn Back the Pendulum, where he is seen giving Mayuri a chemical needed for an experiment.
Rin Tsubokura (壷府 リン Tsubokura Rin ) is a character originally created by Tite Kubo as a mascot for the Japanese Bleach-Fan news site. He regularly interacts with Ichigo Kurosaki's voice actor in brief video segments on the site. Later, he was brought into the manga and anime as a scientist of the 12th Division. He has an obsession with candy and any other sort of sweets, jumping at the chance to visit the real world just to buy sweets unavailable in Soul Society. He is just as timid and simple minded as Hanatarō Yamada. He usually runs and hides from any assignment and is surprised at his willingness to go to the real world.
Hiyosu (鵯州 Hiyosu ) is a department head in the Shinigami Research and Development Institute which is tied to the 12th Division. He is a green-skinned Soul Reaper with a bulbous cleft across his scalp to the back of his neck.
Jūshirō Ukitake (浮竹 十四郎 Ukitake Jūshirō ) is the captain of the 13th Division. He suffers from an illness which occasionally causes him to cough up blood and acts as an inhibition for him throughout the series; if he fights for too long, or even becomes too agitated, the illness flares up. He is forced to leave most of his duties as a captain to his subordinates so that he can rest. Despite this, Jūshirō is respected by many Soul Reapers for his honesty, loyalty, and personal sense of justice. He and his friend Shunsui Kyōraku are two of the oldest and very talented captains in the Gotei 13, both having trained under General Yamamoto roughly a thousand years before the current Bleach storyline.
Jūshirō's Zanpakutō is Sōgyo no Kotowari (双魚の理, literally "law of the twin fish") and it is released by the command "Waves, Become my Shield, Lightning, Become my Blade" (波悉く我が盾となれ雷悉く我が刃となれ nami kotogotoku waga tate to nare, ikazuchi kotogotoku waga yaiba to nare ). In Sōgyo no Kotowari's shikai state, it splits into two thin blades resembling fishing javelins, making it one of only two Zanpakutō in Soul Society to exist as a pair of separate blades. His Shikai is revealed to have the ability to absorb reiatsu-based attacks from one blade and then release them back through the other; the tags along the chain connecting the blades allow Ukitake to control the speed and power of the reflected attack. Some Bleach video games set prior to the current story arc portray it as having the ability to manipulate water and electricity. His bankai is currently unknown. Sōgyo no Kotowari appears as a free Zanpakutō spirit in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc as a pair of identical cheerful children who can attack with projectile bladed-fans.
Kaien Shiba (志波 海燕 Shiba Kaien ) was the previous lieutenant of the 13th Division where his wife, Miyako Shiba was a part of. He is also the brother of Ganju and Kūkaku Shiba. Kaien's appearance closely resembles Ichigo Kurosaki, a fact noted by Byakuya Kuchiki. During Rukia's entrance as a new member of 13th Division, Kaien and Miyako were the only people who can treat her as a normal Soul Reaper and thus their equal, rather than as a noble of the Kuchiki family. He would became Rukia's mentor who helped her to achieve her shikai, teaching her many advices that would help her in her life. However, Miyako was later killed by the Metastacia and during a mission to slay the Hollow, Kaien became possessed as well, after which Rukia was forced to kill him. Metastacia then returned to Hueco Mundo, where it was consumed by Espada Aaroniero Arruruerie, who also absorbed Kaien's soul as well, allowing him to take his form and use his abilities.
The name of Kaien Shiba's zanpakutō is Nejibana (捩花 literally "Spiranthes" ) (Twisted Flower in the English dub). The shikai command is "Surge, Water and Heaven" (水天逆巻け suiten sakamake ) (translated as Rankle the Seas and Heavens in the English dub).
He is voiced by Toshihiko Seki in the Japanese version. In the English dub, he was voiced by Kim Strauss in his first appearance in a flashback scene in episode 49 and later voiced by Dave Mallow in later flashbacks.
Miyako Shiba (志波 都 Shiba Miyako ) was the former 3rd Seat of the 13th Division and the wife of Kaien Shiba, who served as the lieutenant. Like her husband, Miyako treated Rukia Kuchiki during her entrance as a normal Soul Reaper, rather than a noble, and quickly became her personal idol. She was assigned to a mission that eventually led to her death by the Hollow Metastacia, who wiped off all of Miyako's squad members.
Rukia Kuchiki (朽木 ルキア Kuchiki Rukia ) is the lieutenant of the thirteenth division and is the adopted younger sister of Byakuya Kuchiki, who had been married to Rukia's sister Hisana. Her zanpakuto is Sode no Shirayuki, also known as the most beautiful sword in the Soul Society, and it is released with the command "dance".
Kiyone Kotetsu (虎徹 清音 Kotetsu Kiyone ) is the co-3rd Seat of the 13th Division which she shares with Sentarō Kotsubaki who she competes with to impress her Captain. She is the younger sister of Isane Kotetsu, who is the Vice-Captain of the 4th Division. Because of her short hair and young appearance, Kiyone can easily be mistaken for a boy.
Sentarō Kotsubaki (小椿 仙太郎 Kotsubaki Sentarō ) is the co-3rd Seat of the 13th Division which he shares with Kiyone Kotetsu who he competes with to impress his Captain.
Shino (志乃 Shino ) is a member of the Thirteenth Division who is one of the Soul Reapers that replaces Zennosuke Kurumadani as the guardian of the Karakura Town area. She is a strong personality and expresses her thoughts by yelling.
Ryūnosuke Yuki (行木 竜ノ介 Yuki Ryūnosuke ) is a member of the Thirteenth Division who is one of the Soul Reapers that replaces Zennosuke Kurumadani as the guardian of the Karakura Town area.
Tessai Tsukabishi (握菱 テッサイ Tsukabishi Tessai ) is the Kidō Corps Chief (鬼道衆総帥 Kidōshū Sōsui ) and Grand Kidō Captain (大鬼道長 Dai Kidōchō ) during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. After using forbidden kidō techniques in an attempt to save the lives of the Vizards, he is sentenced to life imprisonment and flees the Soul Society along with Kisuke Urahara and Yoruichi Shihōin. He now works at the Urahara Shop.
Hachigen Ushōda (有昭田 鉢玄 Ushōda Hachigen ) is the Vice Kidō Captain (副鬼道長 Fuku Kidōchō ) under Tessai Tsukabishi during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. He leaves Soul Society after becoming a Visored. He and Orihime Inoue have similar powers.
Zero Division (AKA Royal Guard)
Tenjirō Kirinji (麒麟寺 天示郎 Kirinji Tenjirō ) is a member of the Royal Guards who holds the title of Hot Spring Demon. Before joining the Royal Guard, Tenjirō was a Captain in the Gotei 13 and taught the healing techniques to Retsu Unohana.
Following the Wandenreich's attack and the death of Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, Tenjirō and the Royal Guards arrive in the Soul Society where they meet up with Ichigo Kurosaki and the surviving captains. Tenjirō then speaks to Retsu about how many deaths had occurred during the Wandenreich's attack. When Soi Fon gives out to them about how they did not help in the battle with the Wandenreich, Tenjirō grabs her and tells her that their job is to protect the Soul King, not Seireitei and that the Gotei 13 did not live up to its name. After going back to the Royal Palace, he heals Ichigo, Renji, Rukia, and Byakuya in his healing hot spring.
Kirio Hikifune (曳舟 桐生 Hikifune Kirio ), known also by her title Ruler of Grain, was originally the captain of the 12th Division who was seen as a mother-like figure to her lieutenant Hiyori Sarugaki. But as revealed in the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden, taking place 110 years ago before the main story, Kirio was promoted to become a member of the Royal Guard with only the captains and a few who overheard knowing of this. She was succeeded by Kisuke Urahara, with Hiyori taking her former's leader departure hard.
After the Wandenreich's invasion, Hikifune arrives with the other Royal Guards to take Ichigo, Rukia, Renji, and Byakuya to the Royal Palace. Shinji Hirako comments that her appearance has changed since he last saw her 100 years ago, though this is due to her replenishing her spirit energy by consuming plenty of food. She is the Soul Reaper who invented gikon, that is, artificial souls used to strengthen a Soul Reaper's power or placed in an artificial body. Upon arriving at her palace, Hikifune replenishes Ichigo and Renji's stomachs by giving them plenty of food made from her own spirit energy. After cooking Ichigo and Renji's food with her spirit energy, her appearance changes to that of a significantly slimmer version of herself.
Ōetsu Nimaiya (二枚屋 王悦 Nimaiya Ōetsu ) is a member of the Royal Guards who holds the title of God of the Sword. He was credited for inventing the zanpakutō. According to Kirio Hikifune, Ōetsu is an unpredictable man. Being the creator of the Asauchi, he has the ability to locate each and every zanpakutō as well as deduce whether or not an individual is truly a Soul Reaper based on whom the Asuachi choose.
Following Yamamoto's death at the hands of the Wandereich, Nimaiya arrives in Soul Society along with the rest of the Royal Guard to bring Ichigo, Renji, Rukia, and Byakuya to the Royal Palace. When Ichigo and Renji arrive at his palace, he subjects them to a long and flamboyant introduction before destroying both of their zanpakutō and pitting them against the Asauchi, promising to reforge both weapons should they emerge victorious. Roughly three days later, it is revealed that Renji passed the test, but not Ichigo. Subsequently, Nimaiya banishes Ichigo from the Royal Dimension, stating that he needs to learn about his roots and find out where his soul truly lies. After Ichigo has discovered the truth about his origin, Nimaiya brings him back and all the Asauchi bow before Ichigo, causing Nimaiya to say he will personally reforge Tensa Zangetsu. He also reveals that Ichigo's "Zangetsu" is really the personification of his Quincy powers and that he must forces the personification to reveal his true Soul Reaper powers. The reforged Tensa Zangetsu would then changed its appearance to two swords.
Senjumaru Shutara (修多羅 千手丸 Shutara Senjumaru ) is a member of the Royal Guards who holds the title of Great Weave Guard. She has a number of elongated puppet-like arms that can be manipulated with great dexterity (seemingly using just thought alone) where each of the arms possess a considerable amount of physical strength, being able to bear the weight of a fully-grown Soul Reaper.
Following the Wandenreich's invasion, Senjumaru had carried the injured Rukia Kuchki, Byakuya Kuchiki, and Renji Abarai as well as the broken Tensa Zangetsu in translucent orbs where she brought them to the Royal Palace. After Renji and Rukia have recovered, they gather at her place so she can take measurements and forces them to strip down, threatening a reluctant Renji that she will cut his "thing" if he does not comply.
Ichibei Hyōsube (兵主部 一兵衛 Hyōsube Ichibei ) is a member of the Royal Guards and the authoritative of the bunch, holding the title Monk of Perception. He wears a large set of prayer beads around his neck.
After the Wandenreich's invasion and Yamamoto's death, Ichibei and the other Royal Guards arrive to take Ichigo, Renji, Rukia, and Byakuya to the Royal Palace. He informs Ichigo about the Royal Palace and how it function and way to access. Ichibei is the last of the Royal Guards to be visited by them, with Renji and Rukia arriving to train in his palace after visiting the others. He offers them to train in his "inner room".
Eikichirō Saidō (西堂榮吉郎 Saidō Eikichirō ) is a Soul Reaper who is exclusive to the anime. He was first seen being sent by another Soul Reaper to find out why Rukia Kuchiki hasn't reported in. He does managed to find her until the Kurosaki family is attacked by Grand Fisher. He was knocked out by Grand Fisher while Ichigo continues to fight Grand Fisher. After witnessing Ichigo fend off Grand Fisher, Eikichirō leaves with plans to state to his bosses that he couldn't find Rukia. When Sōsuke Aizen begins his invasion on Karakura Town, Eikichirō was assisting in the Soul evacuation where he saves a spirit girl from some Hollows. After getting the spirit girl to safety, Eikichirō was left wondering who will win the war.
Eikichirō Zanpakutō resembles a wakizashi with a black hilt and gray guard.
He is voiced by Takuya Kiramoto in the Japanese version and by Kirk Thornton in the English dub.
His zanpakutō is Tsuchinamazu (土鯰 Soil Catfish ) which in its sealed state resembles an average katana where its tsuba is rectangular in shape. To release its Shikai, Zennosuke will call out "Good Morning!" (ohayō)
Ashido Kanō (狩能 雅忘人 Kanō Ashido ) is introduced during the anime's adaptation of the Hueco Mundo arc. He was originally to appear in the manga during the same part in the series, but had to be cut by series creator Tite Kubo due to time issues. He wears the standard Soul Reaper uniform, in ragged condition and without any footwear, with a fur coat draped over himself. The coat consists of several hollow masks adorned on it; one (resembling a gazelle's skull) killed his best friend. The others he uses to block hollow attacks. Along with his fellow Soul Reapers, Ashido followed a group of hollows into Hueco Mundo hundreds of years before the current Bleach storyline. However, the Soul Reapers were instead hunted down by the hollows and killed one by one, leaving Ashido as the sole survivor. Though he was to return to Soul Society once he wiped out the hollows (an impossible task given how many reside in Hueco Mundo), he decided to stay and kill as many hollows as possible, hoping to reduce the numbers appearing in the human world. After meeting Rukia Kuchiki he agrees to join her in leaving the Hueco Mundo. As she and her friends are leaving the realm however, they are attacked by hollows, and Ashido is trapped in a cave-in while defending them. His further whereabouts and condition are left unknown, but Rukia vows to go back one day and rescue him.
Ryūsei "Kenryū" Kenzaki
Ryūsei Kenzaki (犬崎 劉聖 Kenzaki Ryūsei ), commonly called Kenryū (犬龍 Kenryū ), is introduced during the anime's The New Captain Syūsuke Amagai arc. He is a servant of Rurichiyō Kasumiōji, the princess of the Kasumiōji noble family. He is fiercely loyal to Rurichiyō, and often reprimands Ichigo for not showing her proper respect. He has somewhat similar facial features to the arrancar Tesla but with short dark hair, and wears a normal Soul Reaper uniform and a light garment underneath, as well as long gloves.
His zanpakutō is named Benishidare (紅枝垂, literally "crimson weeping bough"). When released, it takes the form of a long black sword with five flowers attached to it, two flowers on either side, and one on the tip. The flowers release a pollen which causes more flowers to bloom on his opponent's weapon, rendering it useless. The flowers will wither if the pollen is blown away. Kenryū can also scatter the flowers on the blade to blind an enemy to allow in the aid of Rurichiyō's escape in battle. He can also create a thick purple mist to blind his enemy. With the command "fall as flowers do" (散華 sange ), Benishidare can turn its petals into blade sized pink energy needles which rain down on the target.
Ruzaburō "Enryū" Enkōgawa
Ruzaburō Enkōgawa (猿猴川 流三郎 Enkōgawa Ruzaburō ), commonly called Enryū (猿龍 Enryū ), is introduced during the anime's The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai arc. He is a silent, largely built man with a small mohawk shaped like a lightning bolt. He wears a light undergarment under his Soul Reaper uniform, as well as a pair of sunglasses. From the opening credits, it would seem that he has superhuman strength. Like Kenryū, he is a servant of Rurichiyō Kasumiōji. He takes the responsibility of punishing anyone he believes to be being rude to their princess. He has a very high-pitched and squeaky voice, which he is embarrassed about, but Rurichiyō likes. Because of his voice, he almost never speaks, even when asking Kenryū about Rurichiyō's location (he uses comical gestures in a sort of pantomime to ask, which Kenryū is able to understand).
His Zanpakutō is Daichimaru (代地丸, literally "the land") which takes the form of a pair of fists attached to chains when released by the command "Rock" (揺らせ yurase ). By striking the ground, he can cause a pair of stone hands to rise from the earth and trap a target by cupping around it or to defend against attacks.
The Soul King (霊王 Reiō ) is the King of the Soul Society whose existence in Soul Society is as symbolic as it is absolute. The Soul King resides in the Soul King's Palace (霊王宮 Reiōkyū ) that exists in a separate special dimension in the very core of the Soul Society and is protected by the Royal Guards. The door to this dimension can only opened using a Ōken (王鍵, King's Key), which the Soul King creates for each Royal Guard member. Desiring to create his own Ōken, Aizen intended to assassinate the Soul King which Kisuke insist would destroy the Soul Society itself. Shortly after the Royal Guards returned to the Royal Palace with Ichigo Kurosaki following the Wandenreich invasion, the Soul King awakens and is greeted by a retainer.
Senna (茜雫 Senna ) is a young Soul Reaper who only appears once in the film Bleach: Memories of Nobody as the main female protagonist. Ichigo Kurosaki and Rukia Kuchiki meets her in the human world when they were investigating the appearance of the Blanks. Despite having an upbeat and cheerful personality, Senna is haunted by flashes of her 'past' memories. Eventually, she is revealed to be the Memory Rosary (思念珠 Shinenju ), an object composed entirely of memories of various souls that lost their way between human world and Soul Society.
The name of Senna's zanpakutō is Mirokumaru (弥勒丸 literally "Maitreya Circle" ). The shikai command is Yūyami ni izanae (夕闇に誘え literally "Call forth the Twilight", "Bring them to the twilight in the English dub" ). It takes the form of a Khakkhara with a pointed tip when released, having the ability create tornadoes through its ringed end.
Several media from manga, anime and other media have commented on the Soul Reapers from the series. Carlo Santos from Anime News Network has praised the use of the Soul Reapers and Soul Society, since it "takes the familiar tournament formula to the height of creativity" regarding the fact that "This isn't just training and fighting anymore". Melissa Harper has commented that while the name Shinigami is changed to Soul Reaper in the English adaptation, it is an adequate description, and is "therefore a perfectly fine translation." Mania Entertainment commented on Ichigo turning into a Soul Reaper to be "a basic setup for the series itself" and praised how he does not make "awkward moments of handling a sword" making the series less common. Michael Aronson from Mangalife.com has noted the Soul Reapers to be initially similar with the Ghostbusters but he praised how it was later developed as the series progressed. IGN has praised the interactions between the characters and also commented that Suì-Fēng and Yoruichi share one of the more interesting histories in the series, though feels more could have been done to flesh it out.
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- IGN: Bleach: "One Thousand Cherry Blossoms, Crushed! Zangetsu Thrusts Through the Sky" Review
- IGN: Bleach: "Supersonic Battle! Determine the Goddess of Chivalry" Review