Characters: Bleach Zero Squad

Yet another page dedicated to characters that appeared in Tite Kubo's Bleach. This page tackles the members of the Royal Guard, otherwise known as the Zero Squad, a group of Captains promoted to protect the Spirit King himself.

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Contains spoilers

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    Ichibei Hyōsube 

The Commander of the Royal Guard, known as the "Eyeball Monk". A large, bald man with bushy eyebrows and black beard. On his neck, he wears large set of red prayer beads. He's a loud and upfront man who nonetheless smiles a lot.

He gave everything in Soul Society its name, including the terms "zanpakuto", "shikai", and "bankai". He also automatically knows the true name of all zanpakuto from the moment they are forged.

His Zanpakuto is Ichimonji, a giant brush with the power to manifest words into reality. The tip turns into a blade when Ichibei invokes its name.
  • Arch-Enemy: Ichibei attempts to connect himself and Yhwach, as they're respectively the Soul Reaper and Quincy leaders, and have clashed in the distant past. He suggests that Yhwach loathes him and refers to Yhwach as a trouble-making brat who never grew up. However, Yhwach never reciprocates the sentiment and has previously implied his own arch-enemy was Yamamoto.
  • Art Initiates Life: He uses a giant brush to paint kanji, causing the word to manifest in reality. For example, "hidden" cloaks anything it's painted on in a way that makes it extremely difficult to detect anything's been hidden at all. Anything he "cuts" with his brush is also figuratively cut in half; power, speed, reaction, even the name is split into two. While Yhwach quickly recovers with his extreme assimilation powers, Ichibei mutters that "half" is just an arbitrary setting and that he can crush him at full strength if he wants.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He refers to himself as the leader of all Soul Reapers after tossing Yhwach around with his brush's powers.
  • Badass Beard: He has a massive beard and is the manly man of the group design-wise. He proves that a huge mane of facial hair equals massive power, as he sends Yhwach flying away more than once.
  • Bald of Awesome: The top of his head is the only place you won't be finding much hair.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Extremely jovial and affable, Ichibei is still the Royal Guard's commander, and beats Yhwach around with the same serenity. When he stops playing nice with Yhwach and declares he has to kill him, the latter notices that Ichibei's mood is much more sinister.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: He has incredible bushy eyebrows.
  • Carpet of Virility: What can we say? He just seems like a very hairy, manly guy.
  • Casting a Shadow: His power is "blackness" - all the darkness of the world is under his control and anything that has even a little blackness within it comes under his power. Anything his ink covers loses its name and power.
  • Creepy Good: As the leader of the Soul Reapers and in charge of protecting the Spirit King, he's supposed to be a protagonist. However, he enjoys the prospect of killing Yhwach, clearly loves the violence of battle, and possesses power over all the darkness of the world, including the darkness that lies within all living, and dead, things, to the point where the darkness is subtly equated with the blackness of evil.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: He explained his powers to Yhwach, which naturally backfires when the Quincy leader reveals he is able to counter a foe's power once he understands it.
  • I Know Your True Name: He is the one that names everything in Soul Society, including all zanpakuto and their shikai and bankai forms. He loathes having his own name casually used, so everyone calls him "Monk" except for Yhwach. His weapon is his giant calligraphy brush which he wields like a sword. When he strikes something with his brush, he is not cutting the physical target, he's actually cutting its name. The act of cutting the name in half, either breaks what is named or reduces its power by half. When he strikes Yhwach's arm, he cuts the word "arm" in half, breaking Yhwach's arm and reducing Yhwach's spiritual power by half in the process. He can also rewrite a subject's name; by changing Yhwach's name to "black ant", he became as weak as an ant.
  • In-Series Nickname: Most people call him Osho rather than his real name. That's because saying his name actually causes you to lose your voice. When Yhwach goes Full-Name Basis on Ichibei, Yhwach loses the ability to talk (before restoring that ability seconds later).
  • Large and In Charge: Pretty big guy all around, and commands the Zero Squad.
  • No Sell: Yhwach is capable of stealing Ichibei's power but it doesn't matter because he can't assimilate it and Ichibei can keep fighting as though nothing happened.
  • Not Quite Dead: He is blown to pieces by Yhwach but when Ichigo finds his dismembered body, he hears Ichibei telepathically request him to speak his name. When Ichigo does so, Ichibei's body is immediately restored. Ichibei confirms he was dead but speaking his name allowed him to take a portion of Ichigo's power to restore his body, and his power will take much longer to replenish. He strongly implies that there's only a finite amount of time in which this power could have worked when he indicates Ichigo spoke his name just in time to save him.
  • Oh, Crap: He openly expresses his incomprehension when Yhwach easily wrestles himself out of Ichibei's bankai-esque renaming abilities and grievously injures the Zero Squad commander. And again when Yhwach, through the use of his Schrift, copies Ichibei as the latter is reciting his ultimate attack.
  • Punched Across the Room: One of his techniques in battle, Senri Tsūtenshō (Heaven-Piercing Palm of a Thousand Ri), is an energy construct hand that can send the target flying 1000 ri (3927 kilometres) upon impact. Yhwach has to propel himself back to the palace by shooting himself with arrows when he's hit by Ichibei's punch.
  • Semantic Superpower: Invoked Trope, and taken to an extreme literalism. His power is to know the name, and thus abilities, of anything and everything he encounters, and his brush can create or change that name and the powers that go with it.
  • Slasher Smile: As his fight against Yhwach gets more intense, Ichibei starts displaying a lot of manic expressions, including a sinister grin that outlines his murderous intent.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: When he writes words with his paintbrush, the effect written becomes reality. His own name is also an example of this - speak it one too many times, and it will make you mute.

    Kirio Hikifune 
Click here to see her slim form 

The "Ruler of Grain." Former captain of Squad 12, preceding Kisuke Urahara. Hiyori Sarugaki, her lieutenant at the time, regarded her as a mother figure. She's a cheery lady, but she has no qualms about striking people if they don't recognize her (like Shinji).

As the "Ruler of Grain", Hikifune's specialty is making food so souls can beef up their physical and spiritual energy. She's the one who created artificial souls via Reishi transference (hence Soul Candy and Modsouls).
  • Absolute Cleavage: She gains this in her slim form, it rivals Rangiku's.
  • Big Eater: Necessary for her power as she has to bulk up to recharge her Reiatsu.
  • Big Fun: She's big, loud and friendly.
  • Dope Slap: Her preferred method of punishing people that annoy her.
  • Fanservice: While her normal form normally averts this by being a Big Fun, her slim form gives us an ample look at her Absolute Cleavage and impressive rack.
  • Green Thumb: Her reishi-manipulation abilities extend to being able to create trees out of reishi to combat reishi and reishi-using abilities.
  • Hair Decorations: She wears a spoon in her hair.
  • Parental Substitute: According to Hiyori's acquaintances, the reason why she was so slow to accept Urahara as her new captain is because she treated Hikifune like her mother.
  • Power-Up Food: The food she makes is filled with her reiatsu, recharging/empowering those who eat it.
  • Supreme Chef: Both Ichigo and Renji call her food the best thing they've ever tasted.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: She slims down after using all of her reiatsu while cooking.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has long purple hair.

    Senjumaru Shutara 

The "Great Weave Guard". A former captain of unknown background, she's a tall, thin woman with dozens of long arms. A bit playful, she was the one who provided those weird musical instruments during Zero Squad's arrival in the Seireitei. At the same time, she's rather forceful, threatening mutilation to get what she wants. As the "Great Weave Guard", she is responsible for the Shihakushō that all soul reapers currently wear.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: Uses the pronoun "warawa" to refer herself, which is both very feminine and very archaic.
  • Boom, Headshot: During Yhwach's invasion of the Royal Palace, Lillie Barro shoots her in the head, leaving a giant hole where the crown of her skull should be and shattering her head ornament, making her fall to the ground and lie in a large pool of blood. However, the Senjumaru Lille shot is just an elaborate decoy, and the real one was simply watching as the elite Sternritters were fooled by the illusion.
  • Creepily Long Arms / Creepy Long Fingers / Multi-Armed and Dangerous: She has six unnatural-looking arms which she can use for just about anything.
  • Creepy Good: She's pretty intimidating, what with her long arms, calm demeanor, and willingness to castrate a man if he kept disobeying her. Even such a figure as Mayuri would prefer not to offer so much as a comeback when she criticizes him.
  • Did Not See That Coming: When Yhwach invades the Royal Palace and has Tenjirou locked in a stalemate, Senjumaru was waiting for him to pass by her and her cohorts. What she did not expect was her underlings' movement being stalled by the powers of Sternritter W, Nianzol Weizol.
  • Exact Words: She informed Weizol that his power is useless against "enemies he couldn't see", making him believe she meant her subordinates directly behind him. Turns out she meant herself while he was distracted.
  • Freudian Threat: Threatened this on Renji if he didn't remove his fundoshi.
  • Hair Decorations: Wears a strange crown-like object on the back of her head.
  • Meaningful Name: "Senjumaru" can be translated into "Thousand hands", and she admits that reputation as a lightning-fast weaver isn't far-fetched, seeing she completely remade Nianzol Weizol's uniform into something that impales him from the inside out during the short time he was busy fighting fighting her subordinates, killing him.
  • People Jars: One of her techniques is carrying people in artificially made jars for their safety.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Said to Sternritter W referring to a deadly robe she just made, "Don't even dream about taking it off... until you die." As soon as Nianzol dies, she mutters that she forgot to take out the deadly pins in the redesigned uniform, claiming it's a bad habit of hers.

    Tenjirō Kirinji 

The "Hot Spring Demon". A condescending and abrasive man, his patronizing attitude frequently results in him being disciplined by the rest of the Royal Guard, usually through physical force, with a strike to the head. He is responsible for many healing techniques currently used, was the one who taught Unohana her healing skills and inspired Urahara's creation of the hidden Healing Spring in Seireitei.
  • Combat Medic: He's a superior medic to Unohana and more powerful than the captains.
  • Delinquent Hair: Sports a ridiculously long, hooked pompadour.
  • Dr. Jerk: Subverted. His assessment of Unohana's limitations are honest to the point of rudeness and he's unbelievably rough in handling patients, even ones that are on the verge of death. However, he was much friendlier and laid back with his two servants, and even fairly open about the way he used his behaviour to test his patients limits and recovery ability (he was more impressed than he had expected to be).
  • Japanese Delinquents: Played with. Seems not to be one, but talks, acts and looks like one.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He was abrasive in the making of it, but he's completely correct when he points out the Gotei 13's duty is to protect Soul Society and they've failed at the duty assigned to them. It's eventually the Royal Guard's turn to fail in their duty to protect the Soul King when Yhwach defeats them.
  • Making a Splash: He uses the water from his Healing Spring as a weapon. It drains reiatsu and is scalding hot.
  • Oral Fixation: Always has a piece of straw in his mouth.
  • Super Speed: Is so fast that Soi Fon couldn't comprehend it. His speed is so great it earned him the nickname "Flash-speed Tenjirou".
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: He wears a loose jacket that leaves his chest exposed most of the time.

    Ōetsu Nimaiya 

The "God of the Sword." A dark-skinned dude with thick, black hair that is shaven and dyed green on the sides of his head. Noted as a lively, energetic and unpredictable individual, he's nonetheless the inventor of the Asauchi, the basic Zanpakuto spirit form handed out to the Soul Society's recruits.
  • Absurd Cutting Power: The zanpakuto he wields against Yhwach's guards, Sayabuse, is so sharp a scabbard can't be created for it. He laments that because of this it fails to meet the basic standards of a sword and couldn't be given to anyone.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: For all his jovial eccentricity, he traps Ichigo and Renji in a pit with wrathful Zanpakuto for three days just to test them. When he does finally fight, he's very no-nonsense and quick to kill. He also follows-through to make sure the enemies he's downed really are mortally wounded.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Even amongst his colleagues, Ōetsu is pretty bizarre, largely stemming from his hamminess. Hikifune even calls him unpredictable.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He challenges the four elite Quincies and defeats three of them too fast for them to comprehend or mount any serious defence. Askin does comprehend, but is still felled almost immediately, despite trying to dodge.
  • Fashion Dissonance: In a world where people dress like they're from the Tokugawa Japanese era, Nimaiya wears a modern bubble vest over his traditional Soul Reaper attire. The combination is jarring, to say the least.
  • The Glasses Come Off: He only takes his glasses off when he starts to work on a new Zanpakuto. According to him, taking the glasses off is necessary for him to see the right amount and color of flames used. Also notable in that's his serious mode.
  • Large Ham: He's loud, zany, flashy, and something of a showboat, greeting Ichigo and Renji with a ridiculous display.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Ichigo for being a "poser Soul Reaper", though the reason he did so was to motivate him to find out more about his roots.
  • Stunned Silence: Ichigo's confrontation with the Asauchi doesn't go according to Nimaiya's plan, leaving him momentarily speechless with shock at what he witnesses. After returning to take the test he previously failed, Ichigo doesn't fight at all. The Asauchi immediately kneel before him in submission.
  • Super Prototype: The sword he wields in combat, Sayabuse, is a "failed creation" because its blade never chips, scratches nor dulls from use, and is so sharp that no sheathe can hold it. This gives it nigh-instantaneous killing power, but makes for a poor sword compared to the mass-produced zanpakutou.
  • Totally Radical: He talks like a "gangsta", even though he's more than 2000 years old.
  • Torso with a View: During his battle with the Vandenreich, he's shot in the chest, leaving a gaping hole in his torso.
  • Trickster Mentor: Beneath his exterior of being ridiculously quirky, he spends the entire time testing them. Trapping Ichigo and Renji in a pit of Asauchi out of the blue was to test them as Soul Reapers. It ensured Ichigo would fail, forcing him to learn about his roots and return more able to pass the test.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: He and his Escort Squad forge the Asauchi given to Soul Reaper recruits. They will also reforge existing zanpakutou that have been broken beyond more normal means of repair. However, this tends to create a different form of the zanpakutou that it originally was. He also reveals the Asauchi are forged from the souls of Soul Reapers.

    The Sword Five 

Mera Hiuchigashima

A short, temperamental Zanpakuto spirit in the form of a young girl who serves one of Nimaiya's assistants. She has spiky hair, which is tied up in a ponytail at the back. She wears a vest with a large, furred collar, and a short skirt.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: All her violent episodes happen when she's wearing that miniskirt.
  • Hot-Blooded: She's short-tempered and aggressive, and has no time for Nimaiya's goofy methods of introducing Soul Reapers to his palace. Even when dealing with serious people, she's impatiently no-nonsense.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name translates into "Kindling Island" and she has the ability to breathe fire.
  • Playing with Fire: She can breathe fire out of her mouth, which is what Nimaiya uses to reforge Zangetsu.

Hasuka Hashihara

A Zanpakuto spirit who serves Nimaiya, Hasuka is the happiest and bustiest of the bunch, while being around as violent and tomboyish as Mera. She has no shame in referring to herself, and her comrades, as Nimaiya's "private escort" group.
  • Alliterative Name: Has the same "Ha" sound in both of her names.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: She wears a belted minidress that ends at mid-thigh.
  • Genki Girl: She's the most enthusiastic and energetic of the Sword Five, nearly always seen smiling happily.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Hers are symbolic of the fact she's the type that's an older woman who is fun-loving, playful and possessed of childlike innocence.
  • Prehensile Hair: She has the ability to extend and freely control her hair, allowing her to grab and hold objects.
  • Ms. Fanservice: A couple of scenes seem designed to put her into stances that show off her curves and cleavage. One shot of what her hair can do seems designed to focus on a cleavage shot as much as what her hair is doing.

Tokie Tonokawa

Another Zanpakuto spirit under the service of Nimaiya, Tokie is the most negative among the Sword Five, complaining about participating in activities with crocodile tears. She wears a long dress with a halter neck and a black sash around her waist.
  • Alliterative Name: Has the same "Toh" sound in both of her names.
  • Detached Sleeves: Her dress is a halter neck, so the cloth around her arms when she first arrives doesn't seem attached to anything. By the time the sword forging is complete, the cloth on her arms have completely disappeared but her dress is untouched.
  • Hair Decorations: She has a crescent-shaped hairpiece on either side of her head.

Nonomi Nomino

The shortest and youngest-looking of the Sword Five, Nonomi enjoys working, to the point where she scolds Tokie for complaining about forging Zanpakuto. She wears a vest with a collar, and a short skirt with a plumped out hemline.
  • Alliterative Name: Has the same "Noh" sound in both of her names.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: The sclera of her eyes are black, and her pupils are shaped almost like crosses. These are similar to the Spirit King's eyes.
  • Repetitive Name: Her surname is simply "Nonomi" switched around, which leads to her name being rather tedious.
  • Token Mini-Moe: She's the tiniest and most youthful of the bunch.

Tsumiko Tsuchimiya

The final member of the Sword Five, Tsumiko is the quietest and calmest of the group, having yet to say a word while mostly having a disinterested look in her eyes. She has long black hair, which covers one of her eyes. She can take out one of her teeth and turn it into a mallet usable for Zanpakuto forging.
  • Alliterative Name: Has the same "Tsu" sound in both of her names.
  • Bandaged Babe: All over her body, including the lower half of her face, to the point where she honestly resembles a mummy.
  • The Quiet One: She has never spoken on screen yet.
  • The Stoic: Her face, covered as it is, has never deviated from its blank, uninterested expression.

    The Spirit King 

Although he is called 'Spirit King', he does not rule Soul Society, being described as a figurehead that is isolated away in the Royal Realm while the Central 46 gets on with the business of governing Soul Society. His purpose is to regulate the flow of souls to keep all worlds separate, stable and balanced. He provides the Royal Guard with a special Ōken that allows them to both enter the Royal Realm and to give others permission to enter.
  • An Arm and a Leg: When first introduced, he's fully human in shape. By the time Yhwach and Ichigo reach him, he's mysteriously only a head and torso with signs that his limbs have been fading away into nothing.
  • Animate Body Parts: A unique variant. Eons ago, his right arm fell into the Rukongai and became an entity called Mimihagi-sama by the people residing in the 76th Eastern Rukongai District.
  • Barrier Maiden: Rare male version; he is the lynchpin of existence. If he dies, Soul Society, Hueco Mundo, the World of the Living, and everything else, will fade into oblivion. Existence will then revert to what it was before the Soul King was created; a mass of chaotic souls travelling in and out of an unstable Soul Society.
  • Crystal Prison: It looks like he might be a part of it, but it completely encases him either way.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: His eyes are dark with a strange saltire cross-shape in the centre. They are either black with cross-shaped pupils or four pupils arranged to leave a white cross-shape as a side-effect of the diamond-shaped pattern they form.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: His right arm, "Mimihagi-Sama", has an eye on the top of its hand.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: He is sliced in half in a way that makes it look like he and the barrier are part of some kind of odd crystal formation.