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Characters / Bleach: Aizen & His Cohorts

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Characters that appeared in Tite Kubo's Bleach. This page deals with Aizen and his direct lieutenants.


This page contains massive spoilers, not all of which are marked. Tread carefully.

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    In General 
  • Antagonist Abilities: Gin's Zanpakuto can extend to great length at a nightmarish speed and his Bankai can destroy an enemy at a molecular level. Tosen's Bankai can rob an opponent of all their senses except touch. Aizen's Zanpakuto controls the five senses to the point where it can make the target misinterpret another person's form, shape, mass, feel, and smell to be an enemy's. That's not even getting into his skill in all of the Shinigami combat arts and the powers he acquires after he infuses the Hōgyoku into his body.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: All of them were captains in the Thirteen Court Guard Squads and possess the power and skill expected of those with such a rank.
  • Broken Pedestal: Aizen, Tosen and Gin were all highly respected and loved by their peers and subordinates in the Thirteen Court Guard Squads until they revealed their true colors. Nonetheless, Rangiku still cared enough about Gin to mourn him, Hinamori still referred to Aizen as "Captain" and Hisagi had enough respect for Tosen to take offense to Kensei speaking ill of him.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Half of the reason these three are so dangerous is because they love fighting dirty.
    • Aizen's primary method of fighting is either catching his opponents completely by surprise with his Shikai or verbally taunting them into making mistakes, and then striking when their guard is down. When he finally discards his Shikai, thinking he's now too powerful for it to matter, it's the beginning of the end for him.
    • Gin is quite fond of "shooting" Shinso from behind his sleeve, throwing dust in his opponent's eyes, and pointing his Zanpakuto at his opponent before extending it so they will be impaled. When Hiyori tried to attack Aizen, Gin cut her in half from behind.
    • Tosen should be this in theory. He favours a practical style of fighting that involves ambushing people and stabbing them in the back. He will also use his Bankai power to shut down his target's senses to make his attack even easier to pull off. In the Turn Back the Pendulum flashback mini-arc, he takes out Kensei and Kensei's entire investigation squad through this method. Only Kensei survives. Unfortunately, Tosen doesn't show much in the way of tactics or pragmatism during battles in the present. He continued monologuing at Zaraki when he had him trapped in his Bankai even though Zaraki couldn't even hear him and in his final battle with Hisagi and Komamura he used his Hollow powers which proved lethal to him.
  • The Corruption: Aizen and Tosen both underwent Hollowfication which in the Bleach universe is the removal of the boundaries between Shinigami and Hollow. However, this comes with the drawback of the individual losing their sense of self, becoming a monster completely lacking in reason and their soul self-destructing. This is what happened with Tosen though Aizen was able to avoid this problem by using the Hōgyoku. Gin didn't undergo the process most likely because he knew the risks.
  • Evil All Along: Aizen and Tosen being evil was a shock to everyone. Not really the case with Gin; the only people who were surprised that he was a villain were under the impression that someone that overtly villainous was actually evil. All three make it clear they were never truly loyal to the Thirteen Court Guard Squads.
  • Fatal Flaw: Each of them has a personal flaw that resulted in their downfall.
    • For Aizen it was his arrogance. His ego blinded him to the possibility of defeat and he suffers a Villainous Breakdown when he realizes he has been Out-Gambitted by Urahara.
    • For Gin, his underestimation of Aizen's ability to stay one step ahead of him. He failed to avenge Rangiku and was killed by Aizen.
    • For Tosen, it was revenge. Of the three, Tosen had the most sympathetic reasons for his treachery which was avenging the death of his childhood friend at the hands of a Soul Reaper who was never punished for his crime. However, Tosen's rage made him narrow-minded and he failed to see that he was becoming no better than the Soul Reapers whom he viewed as all inherently corrupt. In his final battle with Hisagi and Komamura, he uses his Hollow powers which make him Drunk on the Dark Side and he dies.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Ego: Aizen — The serene, soft-spoken yet supremely arrogant leader. The other two are completely loyal to him, so he has no trouble keeping them in line.
    • Id: Gin — Constantly grinning, utterly without empathy, and more than happy to start trouble. He had a reputation for recklessness and scheming even before Soul Society found out he was Aizen's minion.
    • Superego: Tosen — Calm and stoic, Tosen is a Knight Templar who believes following Aizen is the least violent way to bring order to the world. He prioritizes his personal code above all else, even if it means harming former friends.
  • Jerkass: All of them are this to varying degrees. Aizen frequently insults and belittles his opponents and practically has an insufferable smirk frozen on his face. Even before he revealed himself as a villain, Gin had a reputation as a creep among the Thirteen Court Guard Squads and he trolled Rukia by making her think he would save her from execution only to mock her to her face. Tosen is the nicest one of the bunch but during his battle with Hisagi and Komamura he acts more dickish towards them showing none of the kindness and respect he showed them before, claiming he never cared about them and calling Komamura ugly.
  • Light Is Not Good: They all dress in white robes after the reveal that they are Evil All Along.
  • Smug Snake: All of them are incredibly arrogant and smug, with Gin and Aizen's faces practically frozen in an annoying smirk. Tosen is the least arrogant of the trio though he shows himself to be incredibly dickish and condescending during his his final battle with Hisagi and Komamura.
  • Turncoat: Aizen, Gin and Tousen betray Soul Society to join Hueco Mundo. Then Aizen betrays Hueco Mundo and Tousen. Aizen and Gin betray each other.

    Sōsuke Aizen 

Sosuke Aizen

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bbs_aizen_6.png
After The Reveal appearance 
Thousand-Year Blood War appearance 

"No one stands on the top of the world. Not you, not me, not even gods, but the unbearable vacancy of the throne in the sky is over. From now on, I will stand atop Heaven."

Species: Soul Reaper
Zanpakuto: Kyoka Suigetsu (Shikai)
Voiced by: Show Hayami (JP), Kyle Hebert (US), Ricardo Mendoza (Latin American Spanish)

At first, Aizen presented himself as the affable and gentle Captain of the 5th squad. During the Soul Society arc, he faked being murdered for investigating the Government Conspiracy behind Rukia Kuchiki's unusually harsh treatment by Central 46 following her arrest. In truth, he masterminded said conspiracy in an elaborate gambit to acquire the Hogyoku which opposing Chessmaster Urahara Kisuke had hidden in Rukia's gigai in an equally elaborate bid to destroy it.

After revealing himself and retreating from Soul Society, he takes up residence in the world of Hollows, Hueco Mundo, and uses the aforementioned MacGuffin to create the Arrancar army in hopes of eventually finding the King's Key and becoming 'the one to stand atop heavens'. He is noted for his extraordinarily powerful abilities, Kick the Dog tendencies, elaborate schemes, and mysterious aura.

His Zanpakuto, Kyoka Suigetsu, lets him manipulate his opponents with near-perfect illusions. As he fuses with the Hogyoku, he progressively transforms into monster-like forms, which grant him absurd levels of power.


    Gin Ichimaru 

Gin Ichimaru

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bbs_gin.png
After The Reveal appearance 
"Would you like me to save you?... Just kidding."
Species: Soul Reaper
Zanpakuto: Shinso (Shikai) / Kamishini no Yari (Bankai)
Voiced by: Koji Yusa (JP), Doug Erholtz (US), Carlos del Campo (Latin American Spanish)

Gin is the former Captain of the 3rd squad, whose face is forever fixed in Eyes Always Shut and a foxy smile to go along with it. He was also involved in the past with Rangiku, the only person to whom he has shown something resembling more-or-less genuine kindness. Though suspected to be the Big Bad of the Soul Society arc, he turned out to only be Aizen's subordinate and followed him to Hueco Mundo. Gin largely operates as Aizen's Dragon, though his motivations are quite ambiguous.

His Zanpakuto is Shinso, which has the ability to instantly turn to dust, expand, then reform, giving the illusion that the blade simply extends lightning-fast. His Bankai Kamishini no Yari upgrades his basic Shikai abilities to almost unfathomable speeds and distances, along with the ability to poison enemies with the dust produced by the blade.


  • The Ace: According to his stats, he is a Jack-of-All-Trades who is pretty good at everything he does. He was a Child Prodigy who graduated from the Soul Reaper Academy in just one year. The only other Soul Reaper that graduated that fast was Toshiro Hitsugaya. He has a genius intellect, a highly proficent swordsman, an expert of Shunpo, and a moderate amount of Spiritual Power. It's pretty telling that of all the characters in the series, he was the closet that came to ever killing Aizen.
  • Animal Motifs: He's snake themed and his Zanpakuto's abilities are centred around the concept of a snake, right down to his ambushing strikes through his haori, which reflects the concept of a striking snake. In-universe, some people compare him to a fox because of his prankster nature. Put the snake and fox together, however, and he becomes the non-animal symbol of Inari.
  • Badass Back: He specialised in striking while his back was facing his opponent. It hid his Zanpakuto behind his clothes which could extend its length at very fast speeds. He stabs Aizen through the heart with this tactic.
  • Best Served Cold: Over a century ago, Aizen engaged in activities within the Rukongai that involved stealing pieces of people's souls. It killed most, but a few survived... and one remembered. He believes in behaving like a snake - taking one's time before making the perfect strike. Gin witnessed Aizen stealing a piece of Rangiku's soul when they were children; he became Aizen's right-hand man solely to find a way to avenge Rangiku. He plotted against Aizen for a century to create the perfect moment to avenge Matsumoto. Unfortunately, the only opportunity he gained was the one when Aizen's power evolutions allowed him to bite right back.
  • BFS: His Shikai has his sword extend to the length of 100 regular swords. His Bankai, Kamishini no Yari, can extend even further though this is neither its true focus nor even its secondary one.
  • Bishōnen: In those rare times when he opens his eyes and stops smiling, it's revealed he is very pretty.
  • Boring, but Practical: Gin's Bankai, Kamishini no Yari. It's mainly an upgraded Shikai and thus it lacks a significant amount of luster compared to most Bankai. However, it's perfectly designed for ambushes in plain sight and therefore, just like a snake is designed to successfully strike at close range, his Bankai is very powerful.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Gin, Aizen, and Tosen are the last three people to be seen in the Sealed Sword Frenzy OVA. They appear after the credits in the human world having tea. Gin gets the last speaking role of the OVA, telling the audience to be "careful on your way home". He also does this a lot during his Arrancar Encyclopedia segments.
  • Calling Your Attacks: He calls out all of his attacks, like most Soul Reapers do. More or less justified, because some of his attacks require chanting incantations to be activated.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: He stops smiling so rarely it's always a significant moment when he does so.
  • Childhood Friends: He found Rangiku collapsed on the ground and saved her, after which they traveled together. She's the only person Gin seems to care about, to the point that he's willing to become a villain to avenge her.
  • Child Prodigy: As a child, Gin was hailed as a child genius who excelled at everything he did. He graduated from the six-year Soul Reaper Academy in just one year. The only other Soul Reaper with that record is Toshiro Hitsugaya. After he graduated, Gin joined Squad 5 and gained a seated position.
  • Co-Dragons: He shared the position with Kaname Tosen as Aizen's right-hand men. However their roles are different; Tosen enforces Aizen's orders among the Arrancar army, while Gin is more of a tagalong assassin that always follows Aizen. After Tosen dies, Gin is revealed to be working for Aizen in order to gain the opportunity to kill him.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Among other things, he's quite fond of "shooting" Shinso from behind his sleeve, throwing dust in his opponent's eyes, and pointing his Zanpakuto at his opponent before extending it so they will be impaled. When Hiyori tried to attack Aizen, Gin cut her in half from behind.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: Gin prides himself on having a cold and calculating personality. His eyes more than help him convey this imagery. Mind you, they're also arguably very pretty eyes, which suits him, but the overall picture is very off-putting.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Rangiku believes that it's one of Gin's most endearing attributes. After he died and left no keepsake for her, she realizes that having one would have held her back. By denying her a keepsake, Rangiku attributes that as an attempt by Gin to force her to move forward, which she does.
  • Death by Irony: He became a Soul Reaper to steal back a piece of Rangiku's soul after Aizen's men attacked her. Rangiku never knew Gin was pursuing revenge for her. His purpose was to ensure Rangiku would never cry again. When he died, the last thing he saw was her crying over him as his life faded away.
  • Declaration of Protection: He and Rangiku looked after each other as children, and he told her that he would become a Soul Reaper to protect her.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Gin appears to be loyal to Aizen, and has served him for over a century. The reason it took so long for Gin to become a captain is because Aizen fought to hold on to Gin as his lieutenant for as long as he could. When Aizen betrays Soul Society, he states that even after Gin became a captain, he still viewed Gin as his "lieutenant". However, Aizen's villainy centres around a vendetta against the Soul King, the reason for which isn't explained. Even Gin's oldest friend, Rangiku, cannot fathom why Gin serves Aizen so faithfully. However, Gin was enacting a long-term plan that directly opposed what Aizen was trying to achieve, but required him getting close to Aizen in order to pull off. When Rangiku tries to ask him what his real reason is for working with Aizen, Gin refuses to tell her. He was trying to obtain back what Aizen had once stolen from Rangiku. It required him to become a Soul Reaper, get close to Aizen, and develop the skills needed to kill Aizen. When he finally makes his move, he fails; his dying thoughts are an apology to Rangiku that he's not able to obtain what had been stolen from her.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Gin Ichimaru was one of Aizen's Co-Dragons, but was distrusted by his putative allies both before and after defecting from Soul Society. Aizen himself acted like he mistrusted Gin, and Gin often engaged in odd behavior that brought his motives into question. Gin never reveals his motive for joining Aizen even when Rangiku asks him to explain. It's only partially revealed in flashback as he dies, showing just enough to explain that he joined Aizen to obtain the chance to kill him. Aizen was aware of this and kept Gin around just for the amusement of seeing how he intended to go through with.
  • Evil Virtues: Selflessness and love. Gin is a bastard, and his priorities and worldview are incredibly warped, but there's no doubting his love for Rangiku, and he had no second thoughts at all about laying down his life to end Aizen's.
  • Eyes Always Shut: In Japan, this is indicative of his shifty nature. When he does open them, it's usually a sign of great emotion, such as shock or anger.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Zigzags between this and Affably Evil. In battle, Gin talks to his enemies on their level, such as when he questioned Ichigo's drive to kill Aizen or Toshiro's decision to dodge his attack when it would put Hinamori in harm's way. In polite conversation, Gin acts incredibly smug and everyone instinctively feels that this is a guy who cut a lot of throats to get to where he is. Gin's more Affably Evil in the anime omakes, where he addresses the audience without a hint of malice and speaks to the Arrancar around him with perfect respect and politeness, which Aizen and Tousen certainly never do in any universe.
  • For the Evulz: Gin is notorious for screwing with people just for sheer fun of it. Just prior to Rukia's execution, he offers to save her then "takes it back", tearing apart her resolve to die with dignity and leaving her screaming her despair on the ground. Hiyori's attempt to attack Aizen head-on is pointless because of the vast difference in power between herself and Aizen. However, Gin intervenes to bifurcate her, even though Hiyori poses absolutely no threat to Aizen.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Gin is usually a girl's name. His surname, Ichimaru, was also the name of a famous geisha (a female entertainer).
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Gin never really expressed much interest in what Aizen was doing. Aizen himself even seemed suspicious of Gin every now and then, causing a lot of fan speculation as to what he was really trying to do. He never quite makes it to Ambiguously Evil since he's just too much of a dick, but he was actually trying to assassinate Aizen — or, failing that, Stealth Mentor an "enemy" with the potential to get it done.
  • Hope Spot: He offers one to Rukia by asking her if he should save her, then crushes her spirits by making fun of her. His attack on Aizen also seemed to be working well at first, but of course it failed in the end.
  • I Lied: If it involves his actions, motives, or power, he's guaranteed to lie. He lied to Rukia about saving her from execution, he lies about manipulating the corridors in Hueco Mundo that ensures Rukia meets Aaronierro, and he lies about his power.
  • Jack of All Stats: The databooks indicate he's noted for being a very evenly spread all-rounder who is very good in every field. He isn't the best in any one field, but he has no weaknesses and that makes him a very proficient fighters.
  • Jerkass: Gin, even before his defection, was always infamous for taking delight in screwing around with people. On the morning on Rukia's execution, he comes up to her with intent to tease, something he flat out admits to. He then offers to save Rukia from her execution, only to say he was just kidding, all to break her resolve. When Ichigo's group invades Hueco Mundo to rescue Orihime, Gin manipulates the corridors to force Rukia to meet Aaroniero, who has taken the form of Rukia's dead mentor Kaien. During the battle in Fake Karakura, he attacks Hiyori from behind when she goes after Aizen, whom she could never have put a scratch on anyway.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: He talks with this; an accent which is softer, more polite and more indirect than standard Japanese, despite Gin being everything a Kyoto-ben isn't.
  • Kick the Dog: Gin Ichimaru is introduced by slicing off Jidanbo's arm (only making a gash in it in the anime) and suggesting that he should have died defending the gate. And then there's his falsely offering to help save Rukia and all his friends before her execution just to raise and dash her hopes, turning the emotionally broken girl into a screaming wreck for no reason at all other than to just screw with her. All while keeping that goddamn smile.
  • Laughably Evil: Between his quirky accent, his notorious Troll tendencies, and things like his suggestive false description of his Bankai, Gin is disarmingly funny and clownish on the surface, which only further serves to mask his brutal cunning and capacity for cruelty. This part of him is even more pronounced in the omakes, where his comedic outward disposition is contrasted against the personalities of the even stranger Arrancar around him.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Gin is apparently not that popular in Las Noches; he believes that the Espada all dislike him (aside from Luppi, with whom he conversed a lot). Ulquiorra denies having anything against Gin, and Szayelaporro actually seems to quite like him in the omakes, clearly enjoying their interactions; Gin is the one who's a bit put off by the Octava Espada's creepy manner. Ironically, when Luppi shows up on Arrancar Encyclopedia, he claims that he doesn't really like Gin.
  • Long-Range Fighter: His Zanpakuto Shinso's Shikai ability enables the blade to grow in length, allowing Gin to attack with it from a safe distance that is almost impossible to counter. His Bankai, Kamishini no Yari is even longer, allowing him to easily cut through anything over 10 kilometers away with ease. Actually subverted and exploited. Gin's favorite tactic is to trick his opponent into believing he's a Long-Range Fighter so that they'll mindlessly rush in when they find an opening, only to realize too late that the contraction and growth, able to puncture their body like a bullet, is his true strategy. And even then, there's even more to his abilities that he keeps hidden.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Gin is a master at toying with people's minds and weakening their resolves for his own amusement. In the Soul Society Arc, he manages to bring out Rukia's hidden desire to be saved by saying that he'd rescue her... and when he said he lied, she goes into the realm of Death Seeker. Kira has so much devotion to his captain that he would obey even when Gin told him to fight his fellow Soul Reapers (namely Matsumoto). In this case, however, it was surprisingly more positive, if only slightly, as he wanted to keep Izuru and Rangiku away from Hinamori and Hitsugaya, both of whom were cut down by Aizen.
  • Meaningful Name: His Bankai, Kamishini no Yari can be translated as "God-Killing Spear". He intended to use it on Aizen, whose objective was to become a Transcendent Being.
  • Obviously Evil: The only people surprised when he turned out to be a bad guy were the ones that felt nobody THAT clearly villainous (he is a Perpetual Smug Smiler with a snake motif, for starters) could actually be a villain. Surprisingly, it turns out his motives are actually more noble than previously thought. His methods of achieving his goal are still pretty villainous though.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: There was only one person he wanted to kill and he completely believed he was the only person who had either the right or ability to do so. He wanted to kill Aizen, but it's only after he fails and is dying that he accepts Ichigo should be the one to do it.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: If the Perpetual Smiler stops smiling, something he didn't want has just happened. The significance of this is only relevant later once his motives are known. If his eyes open, however, shit just got real.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Gin always wears a foxy looking smile, which causes people to call him a snake. Gin does it because he knows full well how unsettling everyone finds his constant smiling, and it means people never quite know what he's thinking. If Gin stops smiling...you'd better watch out.
  • Pet the Dog: He's an unrepentant bastard, but seems to have a genuine soft spot for his childhood friend Rangiku. He apologizes with a regretful look before leaving for Hueco Mundo. Also, he later tells Tosen that he's glad Kira 'is doing well' while Kira was fighting Avirrama and wished him luck in the Omake segments during the Captain Amagai arc.
  • Poisonous Person: The true power of his Bankai, Kamishini no Yari. The blade doesn't actually contract or expand—it materializes and dematerializes, and if it dematerializes while inside someone, it leaves behind a tiny sliver with a poison so potent that it disintegrates their body down to the molecular level. This is how he attempts to kill Aizen, who only survives thanks to his Adaptive Ability.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During their rematch, Gin calmly picks Ichigo apart during their battle, chiding him for having absolutely no chance against either him or Aizen anymore. Turns out he's testing Ichigo's ability to defeat Aizen and the conclusion disappoints him.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When the anime team had to pick an eye colour for Gin for when he finally opened his eyes, they gave him red eyes. Then Kubo revealed Gin's eyes were actually Creepy Blue Eyes, so the anime team changed Gin's eyes accordingly.
  • Red Herring: Prior to the revelation of Aizen as the series' Big Bad, he was the leading contender for being the primary villain and the one suspected of most of the wrongdoing that had taken place over the course of the Soul Society arc.
  • Retractable Weapon: His Zanpakuto Shinso is a retractable weapon that he uses to ambush strike his foes. It also helps him to deliver poison to his foe when in Bankai.
  • Revenge Myopia: Gin vowed to destroy Aizen for issuing an attack on innocent souls like Rangiku. He doesn't show the least bit of concern over killing, maiming and tormenting innocent souls himself just to get into Aizen's good graces.
  • Sadist: Gin cultivates this image very convincingly, due to the Slasher Smile that he keeps on his face whenever he causes someone pain. He visits Rukia on the morning of her execution to offer her a chance to save, only to say he was just lying in order to mentally damage her. In the battle of Fake Karakura Town, Gin bisects Hiyori when she attempts to attack Aizen despite providing no threat to him. He even points out that he toys with his "prey" like a snake.
  • Smug Smiler: Gin always has a mocking smile on his face. He only has another facial expression when he is annoyed, shocked, confused, or even sad.
  • Smug Snake: He calls himself this, claiming he hunts for prey then torments them before consuming them. This turns out to be just a front that Gin put up to hide his true intentions to get close to Aizen so that he can kill him.
  • Stealth Mentor: Sometimes he was being cruel for the sake of being cruel. Sometimes, his cruelty was actually designed to make his target stronger. One possible way of looking at his actions toward Ichigo. He had many opportunities to kill him but refrained from doing so; and after he failed to kill Aizen, Gin was glad to see Ichigo's confidence had returned after his "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Troll: His treatment of Hinamori, whom he taunts gently yet sarcastically to make her (and others) believe he's a criminal and a traitor. Turns out he was a betrayer, but not quite as the others imagined. He even takes time to talk to Rukia on her way to be executed and give her the hope that she might have her life spared... and then tell her he was kidding, dashing her last bits of hope.
  • The Unfettered: The Turn Back the Pendulum arc revealed that he was such a prodigy as a child in part because he was already driven by a powerful goal. He was willing and able to do anything necessary to stay Aizen's right-hand man if it meant he could one day kill him. However, heroic intentions or no, Gin is still an immensely ruthless man who will sometimes hurt people soley out of enjoyment.
  • Villains Never Lie: Averted. What makes Gin difficult to assess as a threat is that everything about him is a mystery, he can deliberately lead people to make incorrect assumptions even without saying a word, even when he does offer information, most things he says are half-truths and with meaningful information withheld. Even Aizen wasn't completely able to discern everything about Gin.
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    Kaname Tōsen 

Kaname Tosen

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bbs_tosen.png
After The Reveal appearance 
"My eyes can only see one path and that is the path with the least amount of bloodshed. Justice, is always there, and the path I follow, is justice."
Species: Soul Reaper-Hollow hybrid
Zanpakuto: Suzumushi (Shikai) / Suzumushi Tsuishiki: Enma Korogi (Bankai) / Suzumushi Hyakushiki: Grillar Grillo (Resurreccion)
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa (JP), David Rasner (ENG, Episodes 24-219), Brian Palermo (ENG, Episodes 277+), Irwin Daayán (Latin American Spanish)

Kaname Tōsen is the former Captain of the 9th squad. He's a dark-skinned blind man driven to join the Soul Society to enforce justice and follow the path of least bloodshed, inspired by the tragic death of his old friend who was murdered by her husband. He forms a good friendship with Captain Komamura, but he was goaded by Aizen to join his schemes due to being impressed with his ideals. Upon defection, multiple characters call him out on starting a bloody war despite his claimed ideals.

His Zanpakuto is Suzumushi, capable of making his opponents black out with a supersonic frequency or creating echoes of his blade to launch as projectiles. His Bankai, Suzumushi Tsuishiki: Enma Kōrogi, negates the senses as the environment is enveloped in a black sphere. He is also capable of using an Arrancar's Resurrección, named Suzumushi Hyakushiki: Grillar Grillo, which transforms him into a horrendous cricket-like monster capable of firing Ceros and using sound-based attacks.


  • Achilles' Heel: His Bankai allows him to remove all of the senses of his enemy except for touch. Kenpachi has a hard time against him when Tosen uses it. After thinking for a while, Kenpachi is able to deduce the one crippling weakness of the Bankai: simply by touching his sword, Kenpachi is able to regain his senses and attack Tosen.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: The anime uses Hair Color Dissonance to make his hair predominantly purple-looking as a sheen for his black hair whereas in the manga, his hair is simply black.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Tosen is the most sympathetic of the three renegade Soul Reapers and his death is played as a tragic thing as he finally realizes he may not have been acting in a super great manner. He asks to see Hisagi's face one more time before he finally dies, but he explodes before Hisagi can lean in. The anime's final episode shows Komamura and Hisagi at his grave, joined by Kensei.
  • And I Must Scream: His Bankai traps the enemy in the Enma Korogi, a black dome which nullifies all of their senses except touch.
  • Animal Motif: He has an association with insects, especially crickets though his Resurreccion is a fly.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Tosen's a blind man whose convictions have left him blinded to his own hypocrisies.
  • Ax-Crazy: Despite, or rather, because of his intense obssession with justice, Tosen can be pretty brutal despite claiming to hate people who perpetuate bloodshed. He demands Aizen to let him execute Grimmjow, and when denied, cuts of Grimmjow's arm and blows it up instead. When he becomes a insectile Soul Reaper-Hollow Hybrid, his calm and collected front goes completely out the window and he becomes a raving lunatic.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Komamura and Hisagi are horrified when he reveals Hollowfication that he got from Aizen, with the former calling it a "corrupt" power that shows how far he's fallen. When Tosen questions his view that Hollows, and by extension Hollowfication, are inherently evil, Komamura clarifies that he's criticizing it as an excessive power-up resulting from turning his back on all his comrades in Soul Society.
  • Bait-and-Switch: It seemed like Izaemon killed Tosen and Eishima, before Izaemon himself fell to the ground, dead.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: His Resurrección form is large, black-furred insectoid creature with four arms.
  • The Blank: He wears a mask that is just a blank white shell over his face. His Hollow mask doesn't bother accounting for eyes because he's blind, though it can rip open to form a mouth when he's shouting.
  • Blind Black Guy: He was born blind and is the darkest-skinned captain.
  • Blind People Wear Sunglasses: Kaname Tosen is the series' only blind character, and he starts out wearing a pair of metallic-looking glasses. Later, he swaps them for a visor.
  • Blind Justice: He's a blind warrior who serves for justice, but joins with Aizen because, although he thinks he has a clear view of justice, he's blinded by his desire for revenge. Thanks to the specific autocratic nature of the Central 46, a Soul Reaper who killed his wife over something trivial became a Karma Houdini. Since that wife was a very close friend of Tosen's, he didn't take it well and swore to uphold justice in her name and by her sword. He obtained his justice against the Central 46 by supporting Aizen's move to kill them all and leaving with Aizen to join the enemy the Soul Reapers existed to fight. He left behind two people who vowed to open his eyes to true justice. They did.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: He managed to become a Captain despite his handicap. When he obtains Hollowfication, he is able to finally see. Ironically, this ends up being his undoing.
  • Broken Pedestal: Shuhei practically worshipped him before he turned traitor.
  • Character Development: Most notably in his behavior around Aizen. Initially, while still subservient, Tosen was almost afraid of Aizen by the time of Turn Back The Pendulum (110 years before Rukia met Ichigo). When Tōsen suggested killing off the Visoreds, Aizen - who wanted to see their Hollofication kick in - gave him a Death Glare. Tōsen, nervous and alarmed, bowed his head and quickly apologized. A noticeable change occurs in Everything but the Rain (which is 20 years before Ichigo met Rukia); when Aizen came close to calling a Hollow experiment called White (which Tosen named) a failure, Tōsen boldly argued otherwise, saying that it's more of a "sample". Aizen, surprisingly, backs down.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: He performs a transformation that gives him eyesight so he can fight Komamura and Hisagi, but it doesn't go as expected. He is so unused to having sight that he becomes obsessed with what he's looking at, dropping his guard and allowing Hisagi to sneak-attack him while he's busy insulting Komamura's appearance. Hisagi points out that if Tosen hadn't obtained this Resureccion he would have easily stopped Hisagi's attack.
  • Co-Dragons: He shared the position with Gin Ichimaru as Aizen’s right-hand men. Their roles are different however; Gin functions as more like Aizen's tagalong assassin who is always by his side, while Kaname is the one who enforces Aizen's orders among the Arrancar army.
  • Cool Mask: During Turn Back The Pendulum, he wore a mask that hid his identity and was far tougher than his low rank would imply.
  • Death by Irony: Hisagi and Komamura vowed to go after Tosen to "open his eyes", an unsubtle play on the fact that Tosen was blind and his concept of justice was essentially "Blind Justice". In the end, his new powers do give him eyesight, but he's so distracted by this that he drops his guard, allowing Hisagi to stab him in the skull. Hisagi points out that if Tosen had still been blind, Hisagi would never have been able to do it. "Opening his eyes" really did kill him.
  • Disability Immunity: Aizen states the Kyoka Suigetsu's illusion ability does not work on the blind, as it requires sight to be effective. Therefore, Tosen is immune to it. This is how Aizen reveals to Unohana that Tosen is working for him.
  • Drunk with Power: In his fight against Komamura and Hisagi, Tosen reveals that he now has Hollowfication. As the fight goes on, his mental state begins to unravel at his newfound powers, and when he unleashes his Resurreccion and gains eyesight, he loses it completely.
  • Dying as Yourself: He is defeated by Komamura and Hisagi. As he lays dying, he finally begins to understand why the two wanted to restore his sense to him, and begins to feel remorse for his actions. He asks to see his former lieutenant's face one more time before he dies, but unfortunately explodes before he can.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Tosen despises meaningless bloodshed. He had a strong disdain towards Kenpachi Zaraki for attaining his rank of captain by killing his predecessor. Additionally, Tosen punished Grimmjow for mobilizing five Arrancar (which resulted in their deaths) by cutting off the Espada's arm.
  • Evil All Along: Tosen is revealed to have secretly been working for Aizen at the end of the Soul Society Arc. When Komamura tries to call him on his "corruption" when he joined Aizen, Tosen's retort is that even before he joined the Thirteen Court Guard Squads he had been intending to destroy the Soul Reapers, he had just been hiding it.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: A particularly bizarre case, Tosen takes a moment to explain how his Bankai takes away, among other things, the victim's sense of hearing. After he activated it.
  • Eye Beams: In his Resurreccion, Tosen gains the ability to charge a lime-green Cero in front of both of his eyes, which then fuse together before being fired at the enemy. Appropriately, this attack is named "La Mirada" (Spanish for "The Gaze").
  • The Faceless: As a 5th Seat in the "Pendulum" flashback chapters, he was fully masked. Hell, we didn't even know it was Tosen until he unmasked himself.
  • Failure Knight: His frustration and pain at his best friend's murder is his Start of Darkness.
  • Foreshadowing: Tosen went from being overpowered by Kenpachi Zaraki - a Shinigami that Ichigo was able to beat with Shikai - to effortlessly lopping off Grimmjow's arm - an Arrancar that Ichigo struggled to fight with Bankai. Much later Tosen reveals to his former comrades that he has Hollow powers courtesy of the Hogyoku.
  • Freudian Excuse: He has the most sympathetic reason for his actions in comparison to Aizen and Gin. He had a best friend that he had feelings for, but she married a Soul Reaper. His best friend was killed by her husband in a fit of rage. To honor her memory, Tosen took up her sword and has been secretly hating Soul Reapers ever since.
  • Freudian Slip: A persistent one in the backstory, he would often speak to Komamura of "the world [his dead friend] loved". Komamura noted the distinction between that and "the world I love", concluding Tosen was a deeply unhappy person beneath the surface.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: He learned the truth behind Soul Society and the Soul King, which is part of what set him down the path of helping Aizen. Even after his Heel Realization, Aizen suggests he would have likely crossed the Despair Event Horizon due to knowing the foundations the Soul Reapers built their culture upon.
  • Handicapped Badass: Tosen is blind but still a force to be reckoned with.
  • Healing Factor: After gaining Hollow powers, he also obtained their regenerative abilities, showing them off by repairing the damage Komamura's Bankai dealt to his arm. Once he transforms, he quickly heals over almost every wound he receives, up to and including another direct hit from Komamura's Bankai that destroyed part of his head. He only goes down when Hisagi stabs him through the top of his head with his Zanpakuto and releases it while it's lodged inside, impaling Tosen through the rest of his skull and his throat.
  • Heel Realization: He finally realizes he's lost his way - when he thinks of his old friend, he can finally see her face... but it takes him a lot to recognize her.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: Misguided though he was in joining Aizen, Tosen's criticisms of the corruption within the Thirteen Court Guard Squads were spot on.
  • Idiot Ball: His Bankai is just as potentially effective as Aizen's Shikai, yet he can't stop talking instead of finishing off his opponent. Keep in mind that his Bankai removes all of his opponent's senses, so the person he's talking to can't even hear him.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: Hisagi ultimately defeats him by stabbing his unreleased Zanpakuto into his head, then releasing its Shikai so the scythe comes out of his throat. His Hollowfication allows him to continue breathing, but he's still out of action afterwards.
  • In the Back: He favors a practical style of fighting, that involves ambushing people and stabbing them in the back. He will also use his Bankai power to shut down his target's senses to make his attack even easier to pull off. In the Turn Back the Pendulum flashback mini-arc, he takes out Kensei and Kensei's entire investigation squad through this method. Only Kensei survives.
  • Justice Will Prevail: Believes that Aizen's side represents justice with claims that his victory will be less bloody. His real idea of justice is slaughtering all Soul Reapers.
  • Kick the Dog: After going One-Winged Angel and gaining sight for the first time, he looks to Komamura (his oldest friend) and admits that Komamura is uglier than he thought (bonus points for Komamura being an anthropomorphic canine, making it a more literal use of the trope). He does apologize for it right before he dies, however.
  • Knight Templar: Is fully convinced that he's on the side of justice, even as he commits numerous atrocities on behalf of his boss and helps him execute a plan that would kill thousands of innocent people.
  • Make Some Noise: Tosen's Zanpakuto, Suzumushi, can release a high-pitched tone that can overload the senses of anyone who hears it and knock them out. Additionally, his Resurrección has a move in which he fires sound-based concussive force.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Tosen is one of the few captains besides Mayuri Kurostsuchi that consistently wears some kind of facial covering and is a violent traitor. Little wonder he's given a Hollow mask after leaving Soul Society.
  • Mask of Power: During his final fight, he reveals he was bestowed with Hollow powers and dons a blank white mask that vastly augments his powers and abilities.
  • One-Winged Angel: Tosen is revealed to have acquired Hollowfication during his fight with Kommamura and Hisagi. After equipping his Hollow Mask he reveals he can use Resurrección, Grillar Grillo, to transform into a huge and deformed insectoid Hollow, much like the Brundlefly from the David Cronenberg version of The Fly (1986).
  • Personality Powers: Suzumushi's primary Shikai ability is to emits a ring tone which knocks out the opponent. This comparatively humane and painless technique fits with Tōsen's self-presentation as a proponent of justice.
  • Revenge: His best friend was murdered by her husband, a Soul Reaper — a situation expanded upon by the Can't Fear Your Own World light novel. The justice system did not punish him accordingly because he was a noble, so Tosen decided to take up his friend's Zanpakuto and obtain justice for her. He joined the Thirteen Court Guard Squads with the intention of bringing down the Soul Reapers from within, and joined Aizen's cause because he viewed Aizen's machinations as being the quickest path to achieving his goal.
  • Revenge Before Reason: His obsession with revenge has blinded him to many possibilities and alienated him from the true friends he had. During his fight with Komamura, Tosen's narrow mindedness leaves him open to a sneak attack from his former lieutenant Hisagi.
  • Stealth Pun: See his death scene, where he seems to not remember the reason he was fighting for in the first place and doesn't have any memories of his best friend. So Tosen's Blind Justice clouded his judgement and made him lose sight of what was important to him, his best friend which was the reason he sought justice in the first place.
  • Step into the Blinding Fight: Tosen's Bankai creates the Enma Korogi, a huge sphere of darkness which nullifies all of the opponents senses except touch. Unfortunately for him, he was fighting Zaraki, who just lets himself get stabbed to immobilize Tousen's sword and beat the crap out of him.
  • Storm of Blades: One of Tosen's Shikai attacks is Benihiko, which creates hundreds of blades that rain down on his opponent.
  • Superpower Meltdown: After Hisagi stabs him, Tosen reverts to human form. A few minutes later he explodes into a pool of blood. Revelations about the Hollowfication process imply that he underwent Soul Suicide.
  • Take Up My Sword: He took his deceased friend's Zanpakuto from her grave in his pursuit for "justice".
  • Twofer Token Minority: He's black and blind.
  • Up Through the Ranks: He was the 5th Seat of the 9th Squad under Kensei. Sometime after everyone above him is either exiled (Kensei and Mashiro) or killed (Heizo and Shinobu), he becomes its captain.
  • Villains Never Lie: Once revealed as a villain, this is actually true of Tosen, unlike his comrades. Tosen is earnest to a fault and always means exactly what he says. If questioned by an enemy, he will tell them exactly what he is thinking or feeling, as he believes his actions and reasons are just.
  • Weapon Twirling: Just before Tosen unleashes his Bankai on Kenpachi, he walks forward, twirling his sword in his right hand.
  • White Mask of Doom: During the final battle, he reveals that Aizen gave him Hollow powers, enabling him to don a blank white mask. When he gets angry, a crack opens up to expose his mouth.

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