- List of Soul Reapers in Bleach
This is a list of Soul Reaper (死神 Shinigami, literally, "Death god") characters featured in the anime and manga 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 Tousen 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.
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, literally, "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. 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, literally, "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, literally, "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, literally, "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. The Fourth Squad, for example, is the medical division; the Twelfth Squad is the scientific research division; and the Eleventh Squad is well known for its brute military force. 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, and imprisoning potentially problematic Soul Reapers. The Zero Division, a secret group composed of only former captains, protects the royal family.
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 the 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 is the only known captain 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 ) is the captain of the 1st Division and the leader of the Gotei 13. He is an old man with a very muscular body. There are many scars on his torso, head, and arms, suggesting numerous battles in his past. Yamamoto believes that laws must be upheld for the benefit of the community and despises those who break them. 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 claims that no Soul Reaper born in the last one thousand years is stronger than he is.
Yamamoto's zanpakutō is Ryūjin Jakka (流刃若火, roughly "flowing blade like fire", 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 is a primary plot element in the anime's "Zanpakutō Rebellion" arc, sought by Muramasa to use for his own purposes. He is voiced by Masaaki Tsukada in Japanese and Bob Johnson in English.
Chōjirō Sasakibe (雀部 長次郎 Sasakibe Chōjirō ) is the lieutenant of the 1st Division. He is the least seen of all the lieutenants, not being named in the manga until long after his first appearance. Unlike most other lieutenants, he is often present during meetings between captains. His zanpakutō is Gonryōmaru (厳霊丸, roughly "solemn spirit"). Its shikai command is "Bite", which transforms into a rapier. Its special abilities remain unknown; however, the materialized zanpakutō in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc of the anime 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 Suì-Fēng with the help of Sajin Komamura's materialized zanpakutō he shows his anger towards his master for not standing out enough. 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 enjoys growing tea leaves and making his own tea. He is voiced by Taro Yamaguchi in Japanese and by Michael McConnohie in English when he first speaks in Episode 54 and in all later appearances by Dan Woren.
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. 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 also called the Flash Step in the soul society. During her fight with Suì-Fēng, she argues that she has not relinquished her title of "Flash Step Goddess" after knocking out the stealth force. She is extremely powerful and even faster as she is strong, and she used to be Suì-Fēng's mentor as well as princess of the Shihoin family. Unlike many of the soul reapers in the soul society she has no zanpakuto, but posses superhuman strength and agility. She is voiced by Satsuki Yukino in the Japanese anime and Wendee Lee in the English dub, while in her cat form Shirō Saitō voices her in Japanese and Terrence Stone in English.
Suì-Fēng (砕蜂（ソイフォン） Soi Fon ), born Fēng Shaolíng (蜂 梢綾（フォン シャオリン） Fon Shaorin ), 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, Suì-Fēng was crushed by the fact that Yoruichi did not take her with her. When Yoruichi returns to Soul Society a century later, Suì-Fēng 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: Suì-Fēng likes anything resembling a black cat (a form Yoruichi can assume at will) and displays jealousy should Yoruichi be in someone else's company. Suì-Fēng also appears to apply battle techniques similar to Yoruichi which are to engage the enemies by using hand-to-hand combat with Shunpo abilities.
Suì-Fēng'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 Suì-Fēng'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 Suì-Fēng 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 Suì-Fēng'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 Suì-Fēng to launch a high-speed projectile that resembles a large missile. The thunderous recoil produced by the weapon requires Suì-Fēng 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"). Suì-Fēng notes that normally she can only use her bankai once every three days; using it more than once in a day drains considerable amounts of her spirit energy. Suì-Fēng is also well known in the Soul Society for her high speed movement, shunpō and also the Flash Release technique, shunkō. Suzumebachi appears as a freed zanpakutō in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, resembling a tiny flying hornet-like girl with agility to match Suì-Fēng's high speed movement. In the Japanese version of the series, Suì-Fēng was originally voiced by Tomoko Kawakami until her illness in 2008, after which she was replaced with Houko Kuwashima. Karen Strassman voices Suì-Fēng in English.
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 in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, resembling a shirtless, obese man who blames Marechiyo for his appearance. He is voiced by Shōto Kashii in Japanese and Lex Lang in English.
Gin Ichimaru (市丸 ギン Ichimaru Gin ) is the captain of the 3rd Division at the start of the series. He joins Sōsuke Aizen for whom he was once a lieutenant in the 5th Division, in defecting from the Soul Reapers at the conclusion of the Soul Society arc. The reason Gin became a Soul reaper was to avenge Rangiku Matsumoto; he mentioned that he never wanted to see her cry again in (Episode 308). His zanpakuto, Shinsō, has the ability to extend a great amount at high speeds to pierce his enemies, but its true power involves turning to dust momentarily while it secretes a deadly poison capable of breaking down cells. The truth about his zanpakuto is seen in chapter 414 (Episode 307). Gin's personality is aloof and sarcastic, and seems to be the type of person who likes to rile other people up - not because of what he says, but rather, because of what he doesn't say. Gin is someone who can insult you without actually uttering anything but pleasantries. Early on he is played up to be the antagonist of the series, and many characters comment that they feel uneasy around him. Gin is almost always shown with a large self satisfied grin on his face, no matter the situation, only dropping it when he must feign concern, or he is confused. Gin is shown to be a childhood friend of Rangiku Matsumoto and Gin's defect from the soul reapers causes her considerable confusion and emotional hurt. It is eventually shown that Gin is not so bad after all, but merely determined and a little misguided. He witnessed Sōsuke Aizen (then a lieutenant) with a group of Soul Reapers stealing spirit energy from members of the Roukon district, and feeding that energy into Aizen's incomplete Hōgyoku, and Rangiku Matsumoto was a victim, as he saw her lying on the ground, almost lifeless. It was this act that Gin used as a reason to enter the Thirteen Court Guard Squads, and also why he wished to protect Aizen: he wished to be the only one to kill him to repay him for hurting Rangiku MatsumotoThe one he loved.
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 their fight against Arrancar, Shūhei Hisagi states that Izuru was once in squad 4.
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 sword with a square hook 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 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. He is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai in Japanese and Grant George in English.
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 Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai 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. However, 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 "fire started by lightning"). 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. He is voiced by Ken'yū Horiuchi in the Japanese version and by Rick Zieff in the English version.
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, leading 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.
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. He is voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa in the Japanese version and Christopher Corey Smith in the English version.
Retsu Unohana (卯ノ花 烈 Unohana Retsu ) is the captain of the 4th Division. She is a soft-spoken lady who never displays distress even in the most perilous situations and when situations prove demanding, she usually responds with sharp-minded thinking. She uses honorifics when addressing everyone, including her subordinates. Shunsui Kyōraku and Jūshirō Ukitake treat her as their senior, implying that she may have been involved in Gotei 13 longer than Kyōraku and Jūshirō although they were the first captains to be appointed under the Captain Commander. As the captain of the 4th Division, Unohana is commonly healing and treating the most severe injuries and performing major surgeries, normally on the captains and if necessary, vice captains. Though she is always polite to her patients and subordinates, her mere presence will scare her charges into submission if they try to leave her care before they are fully healed. She is also shown politely intimidating two brutal-looking members of the 11th Division (who are known throughout Soul Society for their brutality and violence) in the Rukia Rescue arc. Unohana is shown to be quite reluctant to discuss her age or if heard, she will give cold yet polite remarks to whom who might want to guess her age. Kyōraku and Ukitake appeared nervous when she overheard them discussing her possible age in the Gaiden arc and Ichigo has been "advised" not to discuss women's ages in front of them by Unohana as she stated it is rude and unwise to do so. She was one of the captains that took part in the reinforcement that had been sent to Hueco Mundo to assist Ichigo and his friends in order to retrieve Orihime from Aizen's grasp. She was last seen at the Battle of Karakura Town, presumably healing the wounded captains and the vice captains along with other soldiers.
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 zanpakutō is still under debate because it is not clear whether her gigantic manta ray is her Minazuki's bankai or shikai. However, readers have been shown a glimpse; when she was about to unsheathe her sword and probably release her zanpakutō, a greenish aura of her spiritual pressure (resemble her Minazuki's colour) appeared around her in order to save the heavily wounded Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya after he received a deadly blow from Aizen in the Rukia Rescue arc. Minazuki appears as freed zanpakutō in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, as a mute figure in a hooded robe, pretending she or he was imprisoning Yamamoto.
Unohana's prowess is rarely shown throughout the series except that she is a skilled healer as well as a keen strategist. However, Aizen acknowledged her prowess as the only Soul Reaper who accurately guessed his hiding place after she managed to discover his hoax corpse, including expecting her to arrive at any moment to confront him during the Rukia Rescue Arc. Unohana is the only remaining captain that has not yet been involved in any direct battle or fighting scene herself, although in the Season 15: Gotei 13 Invading Army of the animation version, she has shown her prowess in battle, both in kido and swordsmanship when she engaged both her duplicate gigai and Yamamoto Genryūsai in fierce kido battle. She is voiced by Aya Hisakawa in Japanese and Kate Higgins in English.
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." Isane's zanpakutō is Itegumo (凍雲, literally "frozen cloud", translated in the English manga as "frozen snow") her shikai command is "Run" (奔れ Hashire ). When released, two smaller blades protrude from Itegumo's hilt at 45° angles. Its special abilities, if any, remain unknown. She was last seen in Hueco Mundo ordered Unohana to assist Captain Byakuya Kuchiki and Captain Kenpachi Zaraki in battle against Espada Yammy Riyalgo. She is voiced by Yukana in Japanese and Stephanie Sheh in English.
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 isn't thinking about what he's 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, Hanataro 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 "Fill" (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 proportional of its strength, if the energy is enough 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 klutz-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 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. He is voiced by Kōki Miyata in Japanese and Spike Spencer in English.
Shinji Hirako (平子 真子 Hirako Shinji ) is the former 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. Shinji is the leader of the Visoreds and lives with the others in the living world hidden from the Gotei 13. Shinji's zanpakuto is Sakanade and its abilities are to control two senses; sight and hearing. Sakanade's command is Collapse and during a fight Shinji can control how his opponent sees his attacks and can manipulate this to make it seem as though Shinji attacking from a different location than where he really is attacking. 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 using his holloification. When in Hollow form, Shinji is much more powerful than the Espada, Grimmjow, and shows this by almost defeating him. Shinji can also shoot a powerful cero.
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.
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, during which 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 the 12th Division.
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. Tobiume appears as a free zanpakutō in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, resembling a young girl wielding overlarge bells that can launch fireballs. 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. She is voiced by Kumi Sakuma in Japanese and Karen Strassman in English.
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. He is voiced by Kinryū Arimoto in Japanese and Michael Sorich in English.
Byakuya Kuchiki (朽木 白哉 Kuchiki Byakuya ) becomes captain of the 6th Division sometime after his grandfather, Ginrei Kuchiki, vacates 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 we learn that he does care about Rukia. Rukia Kuchiki is Byakuya's 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 zanpakuto is "Senbonzakura," meaning "A thousand cherry blossoms." 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" and is similar, but it is much more powerful and harder to escape, due to the large increase in blades and the huge increase 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, which is Senkei Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, which is similar to his Bankai, but materialised in the form of his katana. This creates a thousand swords which Byakuya can fight the opponent with; this also seems to decrease the opponents, like during the fight against Ichigo, where Byakuya says: 'you thought that my speed had increased, but in fact, your speed has decreased, Ichigo Kurosaki.'
Renji Abarai (阿散井 恋次 Abarai Renji ) 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 in Soul Society when the Kuchiki's adopted Rukia. He has tribal black tattoos covering most of his face and body. They were given to him by his zanpakuto, Zabimaru meaning (Baboon Serpant Tail),Chant 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 mode which turns his sword into a skeletal giant-snake like sword that has a head. It can dissamble and reform at Renji's will and can shoot focused reiatsu at the head.
Kōga Kuchiki (朽木 響河 Kuchiki Kōga ) is introduced 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, Kouga is freed by Muramasa with the hope they could build a better world together. However, out of rage, Kōga murdered the three captains 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. 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 Murasama completely, Kōga dies alone in battle against Byakuya. He is voiced by Isshin Chiba in Japanese.
Sajin Komamura (狛村 左陣 Komamura Sajin ) is the captain of the 7th Division. He is an anthropomorphic fox who 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.
Komamura's zanpakutō is Tengen (天譴, literally "divine punishment", translated in the English manga as "sword of heavenly retribution"). Once released with the command "roar" (轟け todoroke ), Tengen 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. Tengen'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. Tengen appears as a free zanpakutō 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. He is voiced by Tetsu Inada in Japanese, by Kim Strauss in English during the Soul Society Arc, and by J.B. Blanc in English from episode 99 onward.
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 Japanese and Steve Cassling in English.
Shunsui Kyōraku (京楽 春水 Kyōraku Shunsui ) is the captain of the 8th Division. Shunsui's a laid-back and flamboyant man, evident in his style of dress: he wears 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. 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. He and his friend Jūshirō Ukitake are two of the oldest captains in the Gotei 13. They both trained under General Yamamoto, who Kyōraku calls Old-man Yama (山じい Yama-jii ). Though generally peace-loving he is an adept fighter, able to defeat the Primera Espada using only his shikai.
Shunsui's zanpakutō is Katen Kyōkotsu (花天狂骨, roughly "flower-heaven crazy-bone"). His zanpakutō is unique in that it exists as two completely separate swords, being as a daisho sword pair. In Katen Kyōkotsu's shikai state, the daisho sword pair transforms 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 whomever 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) and it involves the players calling out a name of a color and then slicing 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. His bankai is unknown, but when asked by the Espada Coyote Starrk to show it to him, Ukitake warns him not to reveal it where so many people could witness it. Katen Kyōkotsu appears as a free zanpakutō in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc as two separate female beings, a feudal-Japan mistress and her ninja bodyguard, wielding Shunsui's swords. Shunsui is voiced by Akio Ōtsuka in Japanese and Steve Kramer in English.
Lisa Yadōmaru (矢胴丸 リサ Yadōmaru Risa ) is the lieutenant of the 8th Division under Shunsui Kyōraku during the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden. She was a lieutenant, but was forced to leave the Soul Society after becoming a Visored. Her zanpakuto is Hagurotonbo.
Nanao Ise (伊勢 七緒 Ise Nanao ) is the lieutenant of the 8th Division. She first joined the division when she was a little girl and enjoyed being read to by former lieutenant Lisa Yadōmaru. Nanao is a very serious and pragmatic person 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.
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. She is voiced by Hitomi Nabatame in Japanese and Kate Higgins in English.
Kaname Tōsen (東仙 要 Tōsen Kaname ) is the captain of the 9th Division at the start of the series. He has been blind since birth, but is capable of using his spiritual sense to "see". Tōsen is 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 feels 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 succeeds in killing Komamura with his newfound Hollow powers, Tōsen, with his new sight, forgets 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 sheds a tear for Komamura when the latter tells him that losing Tōsen would be unbearable for him. He then calls Hisagi to his side, but as he requests to see Hisagi's face clearly once more, Tōsen dies in an explosion of blood, seemingly caused by Aizen. He is voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa in Japanese and David Rasner in English.
Shūhei Hisagi (檜佐木 修兵 Hisagi Shūhei ) is the lieutenant of the 9th Division. The writer of BLEACH based him on Brandon Urrea, a real person. 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 a kusarigama-like weapon, 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 in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, appearing as a violent demonic-looking being. He is voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi in Japanese and Steve Staley in English.
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. The writer of Bleach based Hitsugaya on the real life person, Anthony Carmona. His Zanpakutō is called Hyorinmaru (氷輪丸, literally "ice ring", idiomatically "full moon"). Hyōrinmaru's 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 him to manipulate these elements to his will. Hyōrinmaru's spirit is a winged Chinese dragon made of ice. Hyōrinmaru appears as a free Zanpakutō 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 colour 'white', presumably because of his white hair colour) 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.
Of interesting note, Hitsugaya maintains an extremely mature, and almost unflappable persona, while 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 amanatto, or Japanese candied beans.
Toshiro is voiced by the voice actor Romi Park in the Japanese version, and is voiced by Steve Staley in the English dub.
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 advises. She's 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 Tia 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 loves and cares for. She is shown to love him very deeply, mourning him greatly after his selfless death, as noted by Nanao Ise.
She recruited her then-captain, Tōshirō Hitsugaya into the Gotei 13. 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.
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 in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc, as a woman with cat features, often fighting with Tobiume for a running gag. She is voiced by Kaya Matsutani in Japanese and Megan Hollingshead in English.
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 bloodlust; it roughly translates to: "No matter how many times you cut him, he will never fall". He is also the only captain who cannot use Bankai, because his inability to sense reiatsu has made it hard for him to learn the name of his sword (It is revealed in the episode, where Kenpachi fights Ichigo[Soul Society The entry Arc], that his has no name at all). 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 eyepatch 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 even other Zanpakuto's.
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 child-like in most aspects, as she is small, 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. 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 child-like 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 child-like 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 fox face.
The name and abilities of Yachiru's zanpakutō are both unknown. In its sealed state Yachiru's zanpakuto 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. She is voiced by Hisayo Mochizuki in Japanese and Stevie Bloch in English.She also has a very high spiritual pressure.
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 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. He is voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama in Japanese and Vic Mignogna in English (except in episodes 104 and 105 where he is voiced by Sam Riegel).
Yumichika Ayasegawa (綾瀬川 弓親 Ayasegawa Yumichika ) is 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 settled for 5th Seat, thinking that five (五, go) looks almost like a three (三, san), which he believes to be the most 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 Ruriiro 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 "wisteria 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 colour and this is why he releases it as Fuji Kujaku [wisteria is the least favorite colour] . 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 spliting 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. Ruriiro Kujaku appears as a free zanpakutō in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc as a peacock-like male who is out for Yumichika for being called by his fake name by attempting to expose his master's full potential. He is voiced by Jun Fukuyama in Japanese and Brian Beacock in English.
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. He is voiced by Susumu Chiba in Japanese and Sam Riegel in English.
Kirio Hikifune (曳舟 桐生 Hikifune Kirio ) left the 12th Division soon before the start of the Turn Back the Pendulum gaiden to become a member of the Royal Guard or Squad 0 whom have the duty of protecting the Spirit King. This was kept secret from all, but the captains and a few who overheard. Her lieutenant, Hiyori Sarugaki, thought of her as a mother-figure. She was succeeded by Kisuke Urahara.
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. He created the 12th division's Technical Research Bureau. He leaves Soul Society after being framed by Sōsuke Aizen for hollowfication experiments on certain captains and lieutenants at the time. When he leaves, he appoints Mayuri Kurotsuchi as the new captain of Squad 12 and Research and Development Bureau. Kisuke's zanpakuto is Benihime (translated as bloody or crimson princess) and its abilities allow it to cancel out projectiles of spiritual energy, create a red explosion of spiritual pressure, and Shibare Benihime, which is a powerful technique shown in the Gotei 13 Invading Army Arc. This is used on the Reigei of Suì-Fēng and Marechiyo Ōmaeda and appears as purple energy traintracks which have exploding bombs running down it. Kisuke's Bankai has yet to be seen throughout Bleach. Kisuke is an intelligent analytic man, who most often acts rather immature, but at times can show his mature side when dealing with major problems, for instance the Arrancar's. This shown especially during episode 137 and 138 where he restrains Renji and Chad from joining fight against Yammy, Luppi and, to a degree, Wonderweiss. 'But it seems to me, Renji, that you have also exhausted your Spiritual Pressure. You and Chad stay here, instead, I'll go!' Kisuke is also considered by Aizen to be even more intelligent than himself.
Lieutenant under both Kirio Hikifune and Kisuke Urahara. She struggled to accept Urahara as her captain when he first started working as the 12th division captain because Kirio Hikifune was a mother figure to her. She may be a small girl but she has a temper problem and is a good fighter. She left Soul Society once she became a hollow shinigami and joined the Visoreds. She helped train Ichigo to stay in his hollow form during combat.
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 Quincy (including Ishida's master), Kurotsuchi 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, Kurotsuchi holds a grudging respect for Urahara and his skills, though is visibly affronted when compared to Urahara by Ichigo. Kurotsuchi has also shown that he can recreate the Arrancar's way of travel, 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 "claw out" (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 limb is still able to feel pain, something which is rather fitting for Kurotsuchi'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 Mayuri 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 Kurotsuchi changes the poison he uses every time he shows his bankai. Ashisogi Jizo appears as a free zanpakutō in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc as a small winged baby-like creature. 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. He is voiced by Ryūsei Nakao in Japanese and Terrence Stone in English.
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. She is voiced by Rie Kugimiya in Japanese and Megan Hollingshead in English.
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 seiyū 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. He's voiced by Miho Saiki in Japanese and by Megan Hollingshead in his first appearance and later by Julie Ann Taylor in English.
Jūshirō Ukitake (浮竹 十四郎 Ukitake Jūshirō ) is the captain of the 13th Division. He suffers from tuberculosis which 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 strongest 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 three 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 in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales anime arc as a pair of identical cheerful children who can attack with projectile bladed-fans. He is voiced by Hideo Ishikawa in Japanese and Liam O'Brien in English.
Rukia Kuchiki (朽木 ルキア Kuchiki Rukia ) is the younger sister of Hisana Kuchiki. Though talented enough for a position as a seated officer, has been made ineligible by order of her older brother, Byakuya Kuchiki, out of concern for her safety. However, this is not revealed until after the Soul Society Arc when the Arrancar and Espada first appear. Her zanpakuto's name is Sode No Shirayuki, also known as the most beautiful sword in the Soul Society. Not known to have bankai however the materialised Sode no Shireyuki in the Unknown Zampakuto Tales arc possessed abilities non seen with Rukia such as freely controlling icy winds and creating icicles to attack but no link was made between this and a potential bankai. In the Substitute Soul Reaper Disappearance arc, Rukia is now the lieutenant for squad 13.
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 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.
Ichigo Kurosaki (黒崎 一護 Kurosaki Ichigo ),also the main character of bleach, becomes a Soul Reaper after meeting Rukia Kuchiki. Though Soul Society regards him as a criminal when first learning of him, he becomes their ally after the Soul Society arc and earns the title of "Deputy Soul Reaper" ("Substitute Soul Reaper" in the English dub of the anime). Later in the series, Ichigo develops the powers of a captain (strong spiritual pressure and the ability to summon bankai). His true state is still unknown but he appears to be a Visored (the Masked Army), a Soul Reaper who can increase his powers by putting on a hollow's mask. In the most current episodes, Ichigo is defeated by an arrancar, Ulquiorra Schiffer (ranked number 4 out of 10) and dies. But after Inoue calls to him, he comes back to life as a complete hollow with incomprehensible power. The episode ends as he fires a cero at Ulquiorra's head. The episode shows Ulquiorra badly wounded internally and dying because he cannot heal organs. Before he dies Ulquiorra attacks and cracks Ichigo's mask and severing a horn from the mask. After Orihime calls him back to his human self, Ichigo begins to feel guilty for his part in Ulquiorra's death and hurting Ishida.
After a few more episodes Ichigo defeats Aizen with an attack called the Final Getsuga Tensho, which also destroys his shinigami powers and, seemingly, his spiritual awareness. Months later, he is sought out by a group of humans with spiritual powers called "Fullbringers". The group tells him that they will help him regain his powers once more using their "fullbring" powers. In a recent chapter (436), he activates his own fullbring power using his old substitute shinigami badge. Though what that power is has not been revealed yet, the energy from the activation resembles a left-handed manji, the same design that is present on the hand guard of his zanpkuto in its bankai form.
He is later betrayed by them with they have their memories altered and he has his Fullbring stolen; only to get his Soul Reaper powers back from Rukia and a large amount of the Soul Society a short moment later.
Isshin Kurosaki (黒崎 一心 Kurosaki Isshin ) is the father of Ichigo Kurosaki. He was a Soul Reaper up until twenty years before the current Bleach storyline, after which he began residing in the human world. What he did as a Soul Reaper and why he left remains unknown, though he is seen wearing what appeared to be a captain's haori over one shoulder. Also he seems to know about the Visoreds (the Masked Army). His zanpakutō is called "Engetsu" and has similar powers, even having the same shikai attack "Getsuga Tensho", as Ichigo which brings to question the relationship between his and Ichigo's zanpakutō "Zangetsu".
He's tremendously powerful (despite being knocked around by Ichigo from time to time), being able to send Aizen flying by simply flicking his finger. It is implied that he has used the final getsuga tensho and lost his powers though its still unknown whether this is true. He lost his wife to a hollow which escapes numerous times and is later defeated by Isshin.
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. He is voiced by Yasuyuki Kase in Japanese and Travis Willingham in English.
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 zanpakuto 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. He is voiced by Hiroki Takahashi in the Japanese version and Roger Craig Smith in the English dub.
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 "shake" (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. He is voiced by Ryōtarō Okiayu in Japanese and Neil Kaplan in English.
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.
- ^ a b Deb Aoki. "Interview: Tite Kubo (page 1)". About.com. http://manga.about.com/od/mangaartistinterviews/a/TiteKubo.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- ^ a b Tite Kubo, Masakazu Morita (August 2007). Tite Kubo Interview, Bleach B-Station 112. Japan: Bleach B-Station.
- ^ Weekly Shōnen Jump. Volume 6, Issue 6. June 2008. Viz Media. 12.
- ^ Shonen Jump #51. Volume 5, Issue 3. March 2007. VIZ Media. 328.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2006). "Chapter 120". Bleach, Volume 14. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-0612-2.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2004). "Chapter 1". Bleach, Volume 1. Viz Media. ISBN 1-59116-441-9.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2006). "Chapter 230". Bleach, Volume 26. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-874289-3.
- ^ Bleach manga; chapter -17, page 6
- ^ a b c Kubo, Tite (2007). "Chapter 155". Bleach, Volume 18. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-1042-1.
- ^ a b Kubo, Tite (2007). "Chapter 152". Bleach, Volume 18. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-1042-1.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2007). "Chapter 159". Bleach, Volume 19. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-1043-X.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2007). "Chapter 157". Bleach, Volume 18. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-1042-1.
- ^ Kubo, Tite. BLEACH OFFICIAL BOOTLEG. Shueisha.
- ^ Bleach Chapter 332
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2006). "Chapter 127". Bleach, Volume 15. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-0613-0.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2007). "Chapter 169". Bleach, Volume 20. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-1044-8.
- ^ a b Kubo, Tite (2007). "Chapter 180". Bleach, Volume 21. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-1165-7.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2007). "Chapter 154". Bleach, Volume 18. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-1042-1.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2007). "Chapter 179". Bleach, Volume 21. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-1165-7.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2006). "Chapter 116". Bleach, Volume 14. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-0612-2.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2006). "Chapter 102". Bleach, Volume 12. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-0403-0.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2007). "Chapter 181". Bleach, Volume 21. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-1044-8.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2007). "Chapter 176". Bleach, Volume 21. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-1044-8.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2007). "Chapter 160". Bleach, Volume 19. Shueisha. ISBN 1-4215-1043-X.
- ^ Bleach manga; Chapter 385, page 19
- ^ a b Aoki, Deb (July 2008). "Interview: Tite Kubo - Page 2". About.com. http://manga.about.com/od/mangaartistinterviews/a/TiteKubo_2.htm. Retrieved November 10, 2008.
- ^ Bleach manga; chapter 325, page 3-4.
- ^ Bleach manga; chapter 334, page 12.
- ^ Bleach manga; chapter 203, page 4.
- ^ Bleach manga; chapter 204, page 22.
- ^ Bleach manga; chapter 307
- ^ Bleach manga; chapter 123, page 8
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2006). "Chapter 136". Bleach, Volume 16. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-0614-9.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2005). "Chapter 82". Bleach, Volume 10. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-0081-7.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2007). "Chapter 156". Bleach, Volume 18. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-1042-1.
- ^ Bleach manga; chapter 188, page 2.
- ^ Bleachmanga; chapter 409, page 13.
- ^ Kubo, Tite (2007). Bleach, Volume 29. Shueisha. pp. 196–199. ISBN 4-08-874398-1.
- ^ Santos, Carlo (2005-08-21). "Bleach, review". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/bleach. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^ Harper, Melissa (2007-06-22). "Bleach DVD 1, review". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/bleach-01/the-substitute. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^ Beveridge, Chris (2007-10-30). "Bleach Box Set 1". Mania Entertainment. http://www.mania.com/bleach-box-set-1_article_79620.html. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^ Aronson, Michael. "Bleach volume 1 review". Manga Life. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. http://web.archive.org/web/20071013064804/www.mangalife.com/reviews/Bleachv1.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^ IGN: Bleach: "One Thousand Cherry Blossoms, Crushed! Zangetsu Thrusts Through the Sky" Review
- ^ IGN: Bleach: "Supersonic Battle! Determine the Goddess of Chivalry" Review
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