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Characters / Bleach: Aizen and 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, Momo 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" Shinsou 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: Tousen — Calm and stoic, Tousen 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 has 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 nor 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 their reveal as being 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.

    Sōsuke Aizen 

Sosuke Aizen
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.

  • Above Good and Evil: Aizen reveals that people define their boundaries, morality and what's right or wrong based on their own limited understanding of the world. He claims that he is above all of this and therefore, can make his own rules as he goes. As a result, he even rejects the concept of truth and lies because that's just perspective, too. Despite this, he later gets very angry with Urahara for never having agreed with his point-of-view, because he can't understand why someone of Urahara's intellect would disagree with the way he sees the world.
  • Achilles' Heel: His power cannot be used on the blind, meaning Tosen is immune to it, making him decide to recruit him as his lieutenant as a result. It's also possible to sense his reiatsu through the illusions he creates but only Yamamoto was shown doing that so it's unclear how practical that method is. Also, anyone that touches the blade before the Shikai is released gains immunity as well.
  • Actually a Doombot: By using his illusory powers, he can convince people they're seeing someone they're not. He faked his death this way, distracted Komamura on Sougyoku Hill by making it seem he was somewhere he wasn't and made Hitsugaya stab Hinamori, thinking he was stabbing Aizen.
  • Adaptive Ability: During the Fake Karakura Town battle, Aizen frustrates his opponents by constantly gaining new counter-abilities every time they think they've finally got him. Thanks to the Hogyoku, he keeps evolving in power level and appearance whenever he's brought close to death, until Ichigo weakens him to the point where it's able to look past his will and see what he truly desires.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: In Karakura Town, Aizen strolls through the streets without rush. Ordinary people die simply from being too close to him. It's all Tatsuki, Keigo, Mizuiro, Don Kanonji and Chizuru can do to stay away from him. Even then, it's only because Aizen is playing cat-and-mouse with them as he waits for Ichigo to catch up.
  • And I Must Scream: Aizen is ultimately sentenced to 20,000 years in Muken without any of his senses. By his next appearance, he's so powerful he breaks several of the seals anyway, horrifying Shunsui Kyōraku.
  • Antagonist Abilities: Let's count them all.
  • Arch-Enemy: This man thrives on creating his own enemies. Aizen has created a lot of arch enemies and they had scores to settle with him. He even lampshades it by claiming to Ichigo that since he doesn't have that special personal vendetta against Aizen and is only really opposing him out of a sense of duty and moral obligation, he can't beat him.
    • Shinji Hirako was the first arch-enemy he had created. Aizen was once Shinji’s lieutenant during his time as captain of squad 5. Shinji trusted Aizen, but that was a mistake, he used his hollowfication experiments to turn Shinji and the other Shinigami into Visords and after Kisuke Urahara was framed they were sent into exile.
    • He was this to Toshiro Hitsugaya as well. After Aizen stabbed his own lieutenant Momo Hinamori, Toshiro learned about this and swear revenge on Aizen for his betrayal.
    • He was also this to Sajin Komamura for a short time. After Tosen's death, he was willing to kill Aizen and sacrifice himself for his fallen friend.
    • Baraggan was another one. He was once the king of Hueco Mundo until Aizen and his followers destroyed his dominion over Hueco Mundo and Aizen became it’s new ruler. Baraggan was plotting his revenge for years waiting for the perfect time to kill Aizen, but he ultimately failed.
    • And finally he was surprisingly this to Gin Ichimaru, who was thought to have been loyal to Aizen, but he was actually a double agent and sought revenge for Aizen's theft of a piece of Rangiku's soul.
  • Artificial Outdoors Display: When Aizen took control of Las Noches, he had the huge interior arena converted to look like the outdoors. The ground is covered in sand and the ceiling looks like blue sky with the entire area lit by sunlight. Outside the building, Hueco Mundo exists in constant, moonlit darkness. The Espada believe, with due cause, that Aizen has set the area up so that everything the 'sunlight' touches is under his technological surveillance.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Once the Hogyoku starts powering him up, Aizen eventually reaches the point others can't sense his spiritual pressure, which he claims is proof he has finally transcended the limits of Soul Reapers and Hollows. He compares it to how two-dimensional beings cannot fully comprehend a three-dimensional being.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The reason he is able to get all the Espada and Arrancar to follow him is because he is literally stronger than all of them. The Arrancar claim to follow him because he fears nothing, a trait that they respect. A flashback would later show how Aizen overthrew Barragan and took over Las Noches.
  • The Atoner: An extremely downplayed and somewhat mysterious example, but regardless one. After fighting to take down Yhwach alongside Ichigo, Renji and Uryu, Aizen willingly returns to the Muken. He had every chance to reclaim his freedom as damn near everyone in the Soul Society was injured or at least terribly exhausted from the ordeal. There was literally no one who could have stopped him at the time, and yet he still turned himself in of his own volition. His reasons are never explained, even when questioned. The closest reason was hinted in the final chapter, which might be a newfound respect for Ichigo after fighting alongside him. He has a very long way to go before earning any samaritan points with the Soul Society though, as he still doesn't seem even remotely remorseful for everything he's done.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He was captain of the fifth division because he had the power to achieve that rank. Captains are more powerful than their entire division combined (over 200 members).
  • Badass Boast: Aizen gives these out to many people, in particular, he states that fighting Renji without killing him is like trying to step on an ant without crushing it. However, it backfires against Ichigo, as each boast is immediately followed by Ichigo proving how beneath him Aizen is. When Yhwach encounters Aizen again, he welcomes Yhwach to his Soul Society, and after Yhwach annihilates the chair that restrained him, Aizen told Yhwach that he now has the means to stop him.
  • Badass Bookworm: Before revealing himself as the Big Bad, he cultivated the image of a gentle, intelligent captain who taught calligraphy classes. When he gets directly involved in a fight, he also taunts his opponents with insightful quips.
  • Bad Boss: He is dismissive of his subordinates, even when they are genuinely devoted to him. If they die, he doesn't mourn for them at all and if they fail him, he kills them. When he decides the Espada weren't strong enough for him, he steps into the battle himself to cut down Harribel.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: When Ichigo first fought him, Aizen blocked Ichigo's blade in Bankai with a single finger.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He wished for Ichigo to become very powerful, so that he would have a Worthy Opponent. He even arranged 'downtime' in Karakura Town to give Ichigo the chance to develop a Next Tier Power-Up before they fought. Unfortunately for him, Aizen underestimated just how much of an upgrade Ichigo was capable of developing.
  • Beware the Superman: Apparently, the reason he turned evil was that he discovered early-on that he was so much more powerful than everyone around him, even Captains, and just couldn't empathize with them due to the sheer power difference.
  • Beyond the Impossible: He wants the Hogyoku because it can break the physical laws separating Soul Reaper and the divine and he wants to power up beyond the limits set for Soul Reapers. He does break the Soul Reaper barrier, but not in the way he thought he wanted.
  • Big Bad: He is the main antagonist of the pre-timeskip half of the series. For the first 424 chapters, Aizen is the major villain that is behind almost everything that's happened. He slaughtered the Central 46, and gave out the order for Rukia's execution to obtain the Hogyoku. After betraying Soul Society, he would later lead an Arrancar army to destroy Karakura Town and harvest the souls of the town's citizens to create the Oken to enter the Soul King Palace and overthrow the Soul King. At the end of the pre-timeskip half though, he is stopped by Ichigo. After that, he is no longer the main enemy, but the new villains are hinted to be driven by events and motives that ultimately tie back to Aizen's own actions and motives in some mysterious way.
  • Biseinen: He's a kind-faced, slim, clean-shaven captain with glasses... until he reveals he's the villain, at which point he loses the glasses, slicks back his hair and becomes a much more dangerous, but still very youthful-looking, bad guy.
  • Bishōnen Line: Aizen in the Final Arc after being imprisoned in Muken, despite looking relatively normal, is far beyond any of his monstrous forms granted by the Hogyoku. Also, while his previous forms had his Zanpakuto crassly fused with arm, Aizen has now completely merged with his Zanpakuto and is seemingly able to manifest it at will.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Aizen at first presented himself as kindhearted man who was concerned about the suspicious situations surrounding the disproportionate treat that Rukia has been given for her crimes. Aizen is later seemingly killed for investigating, but is later revealed to have faked his death. When the relieved Momo hugs him, Aizen suddenly stabs her, revealing his true villainous nature. When Renji accuses him of no longer being the Aizen he once knew, Aizen rather calmly states that the gentle, kindly captain everyone knew never existed at all. It was just a mask hiding the villain beneath.
  • Black Eyes of Crazy: His second and third Hogyoku transformations have dark sclera and white irises, which are colored purple and grey respectively in the anime. By this point, he's already become Drunk on the Dark Side.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: During his chrysalis state, his eyes turn jet black with no differentiation between sclera, pupil or iris. From that point on, his power enters unfathomable levels.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: In his third Hogyoku transformation, his Zanpakuto fuses with his hand much in the same way Ichigo's had. In his monstrous fourth form, this is taken a step further with it becoming a black arm-blade.
  • Blank White Eyes: His fourth Hogyoku transformation has solid white eyes without pupils or irises, making him look even more nightmarish.
  • Body Horror: When he's defeated, his body seems to lose control of all the shapeshifting the Hougyoku had put him through, causing a temporary mess of body transformations.
  • Break Them by Talking: He points out that Ichigo doesn't have a personal vendetta and is only opposing him out of duty. Without that personal emotion, Ichigo cannot ever hope to defeat him. Komamura steps in, delivering a rousing Shut Up, Hannibal! to counter what Aizen just said and restore Ichigo's confidence.
  • Broken Ace: Aizen is gifted with extraordinary talents that set him apart from the rest of the cast. He is a brilliant scientist with an astounding level of intelligence and charisma, a master of all forms of Soul Reaper combat, has a Shikai that allows him to control the five senses, and has one of the highest amounts of reiatsu out of any character in the series. He was also greatly respected during his tenure as a captain, and taught a popular calligraphy class. Unfortunately, he's a sociopath who is incapable of empathizing with others and will stop at nothing to overthrow the Soul King.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: His power transformations begin with a chrysalis stage. After that, his transformations continue until he becomes a being with three pairs of butterfly wings. Even his monstrous form becomes a demonic variant of a butterfly or moth-based motif.
  • Calling Your Attacks: He hardly ever does this, but when fighting Ichigo, he is finally forced to start doing this to maximise his kido's power.
  • Came Back Strong: Despite losing all of the enhancements given to him by the Hogyoku, once he returns after spending a year and a half in Muken, Urahara notes that he has somehow become even more powerful than he was when he fought Ichigo. Meaning that he has managed to surpass himself far beyond what the Hogyoku was able to grant him.
  • The Chessmaster: Until Aizen's defeat, a chess-game unfolds between Aizen and Urahara that lasts over a century, with various characters becoming pawns as they make move and counter-move against each other. Everything is geared towards Aizen's determination to reach and kill the Soul King and Urahara's determination to prevent that from happening. From Rukia meeting Ichigo to Ichigo's power-ups, to Aizen's de-powering, everything is based on tactic and counter-tactic between the two men.
  • Combat Pragmatist: His 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.
  • Complete Immortality: Aizen is defeated by Ichigo but he cannot be killed. Urahara actually suspected the Hougyoku would make Aizen almost impossible to kill and planned accordingly. It means Aizen has to be imprisoned, but the Central 46 thinks he cannot be killed at all and he himself treats being locked away for 20,000 years as an amusing pitstop. Even against Yhwach he shows no real fear of death and survives several direct attacks from him, including being impaled through the chest.
  • Complexity Addiction: Aizen spent decades experimenting on Hollows to produce one that could neutralize Yamamoto's Zanpakuto. Also, all his effort in tracking down powerful Menos to turn into Arrancars works only well enough to entice the captains onto the battlefield. Aizen did want that to happen, but he had hoped the Arrancar could also defeat the captains once there. He ends up having to do that bit by himself.
  • Cool Chair: Kyouraku expects Aizen to help fight Yhwach, but refuses to completely unseal him from the Muken chair he's bound to for obvious reasons. While Aizen complains about having to fight like this, he also admires just how strong a chair it is. It can even withstand his signature Kurohitsugi attack. Eventually, it was completely obliterated by Yhwach after having returned to Soul Society.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Aizen apparently demonstrates Batman-level planning when he installed an invisible Kido shield at the base of his neck (his biggest blind spot), figuring someone at some point would try to hit him there.
  • Creepy Monotone: In the English dub. His voice actor, Kyle Hebert cites HAL as an inspiration.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: His power level is so unique that even captains are no match for him. Some of the captains are aware that charging at him without a plan is tantamount to suicide because, even when several captains attack together, he can instantly defeat them all. The reason why Ichigo is such an important trump card for the captains is because Aizen one-shot him so easily at the end of the Soul Society Arc that Aizen didn't bother using his hypnosis power, which all other captains were affected by. By the time Ichigo and Aizen cross swords again, Aizen is too drunk on power to care about his hypnosis ability, allowing Ichigo to curb-stomp him.
  • Defiant to the End: When he is finally defeated, he screams at Urahara that a man of his intellect should be doing something about the problem like he was trying to do. When sentenced for his crimes, he smiles smugly and suggests the Central 46 have no moral authority to judge him at all. The Central 46 are so intimidated by his calm they increase his sentence... to 20 millennia. It doesn't cow Aizen at all.
  • Deflector Shield: Aizen invented some kidou that creates shields around his body at the locations he specifies. If he is attacked at that location, the shield automatically activates, deflecting the attack. When Ichigo tried to ambush him with a strike to the back of the neck, Aizen told him he shouldn't have chosen such an obvious target - as the weak spot of every living creature, it was a no-brainer to set up protection to prevent someone doing what Ichigo tried. Aside from the auto-activation, however, the shields don't function any differently to regular kido shields.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Aizen's goal was to use the Hogyoku to apotheose into a divine being capable of usurping the role of the Soul King, and according to Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World he succeeded.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Since his introduction, Aizen was built up as the ultimate villain behind everything. Though in the end, he was defeated by Ichigo at what Tite Kubo called the "half-way point" of the story. Yhwach replaces Aizen as the main villain and appears to be connected to everything, even Aizen's villainy. Yhwach invaded Soul Society just to give the imprisoned Aizen a recruitment opportunity, despite fully expecting Aizen to refuse. Aizen manipulated Yhwach's perception of time, but only briefly. What the two men are up to and what they know about each other is a mystery, leaving Yhwach as the main villain and Aizen as a background threat.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: As Aizen began going through powerful transformations, he began to feel more and more invincible until at last he discards his Shikai power entirely, thinking it's no longer needed. Aizen was quite incorrect.
  • Enemy Mine: When Yhwach sees Aizen leap in to attack him after Renji is defeated, Yhwach assumes that Aizen has allied himself with Ichigo and Renji against him and claims it's evidence of Aizen being the kind of loser that he usually detests. Aizen's willingness to team up with Ichigo, Renji and Uryuu is, he claims, nothing more than a resolve to never be controlled by anyone.
  • Evil All Along: He was introduced as a gentle, kind captain who was worried about a secret conspiracy. It turned out he was the conspirator and was pulling everyone's strings.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • He and Urahara are both super-geniuses who tend to use their allies like pawns and enjoy trolling allies and enemies alike. Except that Urahara genuinely cares about his allies in the end and seems to be trying to save the world instead of break it. In fact, Aizen believes they're so alike, he's baffled as to why Urahara isn't on his side.
    • Aizen is also this to Hitsugaya. They're both extremely powerful prodigies driven to loneliness and isolation because of that power. Aizen turned against the world because of that isolation whereas Hitsugaya worked through that isolation to find people he could bond with. Aizen notably seems driven to target Hitsugaya more than any other captain.
  • Evil Genius: He spent decades working on hollowfication research, experimenting on the souls of living people and killing countless in the process. He can anticipate almost any permutation of any plan, allowing him to plan for any strategy that may be used against him. He breaks the rules of both science and war in his determination to reach the Soul King and replace him.
  • Evil Overlord: He is a narcissistic sociopath, who manipulates and betrays everyone who trusts him, and doesn't hesitate to leave even his closest associates nearly dead on the floor. He overthrew Baraggan for control of Las Noches, where he led his army of Arrancars versus the Soul Society.
  • Evil Plan: He claims his desire is to become a god and replace the Soul King, but Ichigo thinks he was originally motivated by the need for a Worthy Opponent.
  • Evil Sorceror: Aizen is skilled in all forms of Soul Reaper combat, but he is particularly gifted in Kidou, even being able to cast Level 90s Kidou, his favorite appearing to Hado #90 Kurohitsugi. Gin is amazed he can do it at all. Even he struggles to cast them chantless, however. During his battle with Ichigo, he casts a full-powered Kurohisugi with chant which only failed because Ichigo had achieved such a high level of power. During the final battle with Yhwach, Aizen casts Hado #99, Goryutenmetsu.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He's voiced by Show Hayami so he has a very deep voice. Likewise, Kyle Hebert gives him this in the English dub.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Aizen's ambition is to be the sole ruler of the cosmos. As a result, he doesn't like Yhwach having the same goal and declares his intent to stop him, not to protect Soul Society, but instead to get rid of anyone who would try to control him.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: As he's staring at Ichigo's Final Getsuga Tensho, he finds himself in disbelief that despite seeing the black Battle Aura he still can't sense Ichigo's spiritual pressure, thinking to himself that having ascended to a level past lesser mortals it should be the other way around. And then realizes to his horror that could only mean Ichigo has ascended to a level past Aizen's ability to sense just like those other Soul Reapers couldn't sense himself anymore.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: In his final Hogyoku transformation, he develops eyes on his wings.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Aizen has the appearance of a handsome, youthful man who is able to garner respect and admiration. It one flashback, it is shown that during his tenure as lieutenant and captain of Squad 5, he appeared to have attracted a handful of female admirers. His lieutenant Momo Hinamori was highly fond of him, and one of his Arrancar aides, Loly, seemed to have harbored an intense crush on him to the point that she was driven to murderous jealousy when she believed that Aizen was paying more attention to Orihime. Aizen is aware of his good looks and charisma, and uses to them to flawlessly manipulate people.
  • Faking the Dead: He faked his death using his Shikai to fool everyone into thinking there was a body. It allowed him to move around unnoticed so that he could investigate the exiled Urahara's historic research.
  • Fangs Are Evil: In his fourth Hogyoku form, his jaws are lined with fangs, illustrating how monstrous he has literally become.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Aizen is charismatic individual who is terribly polite to everyone he converses with, even after he is revealed to be a villain. He dislikes uncouth behaviour in his Arrancar, he asks the Arrancar if they'd like to be served tea before he's willing to discuss the fact they're being invaded, and chides the stressed out Ichigo for raising his voice when Ichigo confronts him. However, it is all a facade that hides his true monstrous nature. As he starts to get more powerful, Aizen's polite facade starts to shatter until he is shown to be an arrogant nihilistic sociopath who views himself as above everyone else.
  • Flat Character: Even though he was the Big Bad, Aizen's primary role as a character was to be The Chessmaster, The Ace, Mr. Exposition and an Arch-Enemy to anyone not named Ichigo or Urahara. Very little in the way of back story or motivations was revealed.
  • For the Evulz: Gin once accuses Aizen of having fun when they learn they're being invaded by Ichigo's group and also accuses Aizen of letting Tousen chop off Grimmjow's arm to have fun. Aizen doesn't deny it.
  • Freudian Excuse: Like Hitsugaya, Aizen had enormous power from an early age and was ostracised and mistrusted because of it. Ichigo believes this loneliness was the root of why he became evil. Unlike Hitsugaya, Aizen never found a way to overcome his situation and bond with others. Instead, he wanted to become a god and create his own world. Hitsugaya is the captain Aizen targets above all other captains.
  • The Glasses Come Off: At the end of the Soul Society arc, he reveals himself as a villain and destroys his glasses and slicks back his hair in the process.
  • Godhood Seeker: When Aizen reveals he's a villain, he states he will fill the "unbearable vacancy on the throne in the sky". Later on, he intimdates that he won't simply rise to the level of a god, he will become something even gods will serve. All his experiments over the decades have been geared towards breaking the boundary between the mortal and the divine, and he loudly boasts when his spiritual pressure can no longer be sensed by his enemies that he has "transcended" them. The Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World light novels reveal that he was trying to become a being capable of usurping the Soul King.
  • Gone Horribly Right: He spared Ichigo and urged him to become strong, so he'd have a sufficiently powerful opponent to push Aizen to his limits. It worked.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: He had soft, shaggy hair as a "good" captain. When he reveals he's the villain, he slicks back his hair and his hair remains slicked back ever after, except for one single curl that hangs down his face.
  • The Heavy: He is the source of nearly every single event. Aizen's creation of White prevents Ryuuken and Masaki's Arranged Marriage, allowing Masaki and Isshin, and Ryuuken and Katagiri, to Marry for Love. Without Aizen, Ichigo and Uryuu would never have been conceived. It's revealed that he was the one who kickstarted the events of the series by deploying Rukia Kuchiki to Karakura Town, which lead to Ichigo obtaining Soul Reaper powers for the first time, Rukia getting arrested, Aizen arranging Rukia's execution, and later leaving Soul Society once he is exposed. Aizen would go on to serve as the main villain of the series until the time he is sealed.
  • Healing Factor: After fusing with the Hogyoku, Aizen gains accelerated healing akin to a Hollow, up to the point that an injury as severe as nearly being sliced in half by Ichigo's Mugetsu (an attack large enough to eclipse a mountain range) was capable of being healed over from despite blasting away most of the features of his One-Winged Angel form. It seems to be one of the few powers the Hogyoku granted him alongside Complete Immortality that he kept, considering that he healed over from the injuries Yhwach inflicted without much issue.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • He was overwhelmed, both in strength and power, by Ichigo (the man he wanted to become more powerful), who merged together with Getsuga itself. White, the proto-Arrancar, formed the basis of Ichigo's Inner Hollow, who happens to be Ichigo's true Zanpakuto. Whoops.
    • The reason Urahara's sealing spell finally works is because the Hogyoku Aizen relied upon so heavily finally took back its power. Ichigo correctly speculated that it was actually responding to a secret desire within Aizen to be Brought Down to Normal.
  • Hypocrite: He has the gall to call Ichigo out for being arrogant during their fight, and that he needs to abandon this attitude. This is coming from the Smug Snake with the raging god complex.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Ichigo believes that Aizen's secret desire has always been to be a shinigami of normal power and that, in the absence of either normality or any equals, he felt he had no choice but to instead seek out a Worthy Opponent to assuage his loneliness. Whether this is true or not is unclear, as when Aizen next appears he's more powerful than ever and seems perfectly happy as such.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: After Ichigo and Aizen have their great battle, Ichigo is left feeling this was Aizen's deepest reason for seeking a Worthy Opponent. At the same time, Aizen disregarded that he was beloved as a captain (especially by Hinamori), and he even pitted friends against one another to suit his plans.
  • I Lied: When Aizen gives two different Motive Rants along with different Evil Plans for each, Ichigo accuses him of lying the second time. Aizen points out that if Ichigo thinks he's lying this time, then he shouldn't he also assume he was lying the first time?
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Is inflicted with this fate by Yhwach during their battle after fooling him into thinking he stabbed Ichigo. Aizen didn't mind too much thanks to his immortality and since it was only meant to let Ichigo get a strike in.
  • "Instant Death" Radius: After he hits his second-to-last transformation, anything without a certain amount of reiatsu that gets close to him is disintegrated. His prison seals are designed to trap his reiatsu close to his body to ensure he cannot do this to others. Even after he's supposedly Brought Down to Normal and imprisoned with reiatsu-suppressing seals, if he's even partially unsealed his reiatsu can maim and kill.
  • Invincible Villain: How he is portrayed in much of his battles. Immediately after The Reveal, Aizen is portrayed as certainly better than most of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads, but through Crazy-Prepared planning and deliberate cautiousness. Later though, his higher spiritual skills and power allow him to No-Sell just about anything, even when being attacked by the most powerful beings in existence simultaneously. By the end of the Arrancar war, he flat out states that his power has grown so much that he can completely abandon caution or logic. This proven by how he effortlesstly defeat all Thirteen Court Guard Squads captain In Karakura town with exception of Yamamoto and Even Ichigo at his strongest could not kill him.
  • Jerkass: While he's very good at hiding it, this is Aizen's true nature. Aizen sees himself as better than everyone else, and will subtly mock and insult his enemies to get a rise out of them for shits and giggles. In fact, doing so is actually one of his combat tactics.
  • The Juggernaut: Towards the end of the Karakura Town battle, Aizen just mows down any attempt to stop him, getting stronger in the process. Even Ichigo developing a Story-Breaker Power cannot stop Aizen; he has to be sealed and imprisoned instead.
  • Kick the Dog: Aizen, who at first seemed to be the kind and gentle Captain of Squad 5, first establishes himself as a villain by stabbing his devout lieutenant Hinamori while hugging her. This would leave her traumatized for months.
  • Kill the God: The Arrancar Arc's climax is the Deicide (literally "to kill a god") mini-arc, focusing on Aizen's obsession with reaching and surpassing the realm of divinity. However, his target (the Soul King) is officially regarded as a king by many. It ends with Aizen's defeat and the death of Gin, who used his own God-Killing Spear to try and slay Aizen. However, Aizen is not a god, as he simply reached a power level too great for most beings to comprehend.
  • Lack of Empathy: By his own admission, he considers morality and empathy as weaknesses which must be expunged in order to reach one's full potential. On several occasions, he's cut people who once trusted and respected him down himself because it amused him. Ironically, Ichigo believes he ended up this way because he was The Ace from a young age who couldn't connect with anyone due to being put on a pedestal.
  • Light Is Not Good: After he is revealed as a villain, Aizen forgoes the Soul Reaper uniform in favor of an all white robe. When he fuses with the Hogyoku, he assumes several One-Winged Angel forms with a majorly white appearance, with his third form in particular, resembling an angel.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Aizen is strong enough to destroy Komamura's Bankai with one sword swing. He is tough enough to tank a clean slash on his arm by Shinji. He is also fast enough to make Ichigo think he's teleporting. And this is all before he starts getting power-ups from the Hogyoku.
  • Lonely at the Top: Ichigo believes that Aizen was motivated by loneliness, and that his great power had made him feel ostracised: if he couldn't be normal, then at least he could have a Worthy Opponent.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: His final transformation is a grotesque creature that bursts right through his skin, leaving his skin in tattered folds along the side of his face for the remainder of the fight. He obtains a third eye, a demonic skull-like face, three holes running down his chest, clawed feet, and blackened hands (one of which fuses with his zanpakuto). His wings become skin-like, covered in eyes and adorned with mouths and tendrils.
  • Mad Scientist: His madness is originally quiet and hidden, but he's responsible for countless deaths in his Hollowfication research, performing highly unethical experiments on Soul Reapers, Hollows and ordinary Rukongai souls. Somewhat unusually for a Mad Scientist, Aizen likes when his experiments don't produce what he wanted them to, finding it more interesting when something unexpected happens.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He manipulates Renji into believing there's a conspiracy to kill Rukia so that he becomes rebellious and contributes to causing chaos, he manipulates Ichigo so Ichigo will grow stronger, he manipulates the whole Soul Society into executing Rukia so he can gain what Urahara hid inside her soul. He spent decades manipulating Hinamori into being completely loyal to him, and he manipulates the Arrancar into serving and even dying for him.
  • Mask of Sanity: Appeared to be a calm, stable guy until The Reveal. Even after the reveal, he was quite low-key, though unapologetic in his sadistic streak. The mask gradually starts to break once he goes One-Winged Angel.
  • Master of All: Aizen is not only blessed with phenomenal reiatsu that boosts his physical abilities to a high level, but also has incredible skill in maximizing it. Offense, defense, physical strength, mobility, intelligence, kido mastery, swordsmanship, unarmed-combat skills, he's a master of it all.
  • Master of Illusion: Kyoka Suigetsu's Shikai ability allows Aizen to control the five senses of multiple people. Although he calls the ability "complete hypnosis", it has no ability to control how people think or behave, something he has to use mundane manipulation to affect. His illusory powers can make a fly seem like a dragon or a wasteland look, feel and smell like a field of flowers. To date, there are only two ways known to defeat this ability: to never see its release in the first place (but if that's happened even once, it's already too late) or to touch the Zanpakuto blade while the hypnosis is inactive.
  • Meaningful Name: Is named after Aizen Myou-ou, a figure in Buddhism who possesses the wish-granting cintamani stone, known in Japanese as the "houjuu".
  • Mercy Kill: The prologue of Can't Fear your Own World has him admit he believed killing Tousen was this, as he might have realized how distorted his vengeance made him, Tousen would never be able to accept Soul Society regardless because he knows the Awful Truth of its origins. He also believed that his attempt to kill Momo was one, as he had manipulated her into loving him to the point where she couldn't be able to live without him.
  • Misery Builds Character: He is the character that "proves" this moral. Aizen never had to struggle or rely on anyone else for strength or survival, so he found no way to connect to them. Even other gifted characters, like Ichigo, still had to create bonds of friendship and mutual reliance in order to realize his potential.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: His fourth Hogyoku transformation is this. His face splits open, revealing a black skull with three white eyes, six wings with Hollow masks and eyes with horizontally slitted pupils, three holes in his torso, and his right hand fused with his Zanpakuto.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The author went on record to say that he wanted to make Aizen "more evil" in an interview, so this was every bit as intended as it looked. Aizen made Hinamori extremely loyal to him, using her trust in his word to pit her against her childhood friend Hitsugaya, in order to keep his cover from getting blown. When he revealed that he faked his death to her, Aizen let Hinamori move in to hug him, before running straight through her chest with his sword and mocking Hitsugaya about it. His manipulations were so successful that she still believed he was innocent. Afterward, in the Fake Karakura arc, he used his illusions to trick Hitsugaya into stabbing her himself. invoked
  • Narcissist: While not without reason, Aizen has a much higher ego than he has any right to have. He's a manipulative, arrogant, and charismatic sociopath with ambitions of 'standing atop the heavens'. He views himself as better than everyone else, sees those serving under him as little more than tools, and wholeheartedly believes that he, and he alone, is the only one who has the right to kill the Soul King and take its place. When he fuses with the Hogyoku and becomes more powerful, he starts to become more arrogant and cocky, and eventually starts to break down when a "mere" human starts to overpower him.
  • Nightmare Face: His final transformation leads to a monster's face breaking out of his own skin, so the skin of his true face peels to one side. For the rest of the fight, the peeled skin remains hanging from his face.
  • No Eye in Magic: Aizen's Shikai can only influence people after a ritual is performed that his targets need to witness. As a result, Tosen is immune to the power because he's literally blind.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: After The Reveal, he spends most of his time just sitting around and ordering his minions around. He still has his usual machinations, but he leaves the heavy lifting to the Espada. After he leaves Hueco Mundo and makes it to Fake Karakura, Yamamoto envelops him in a fire prison. Although he likely couldn't do much regardless, his dialogue makes it fairly clear he had no intention of doing anything, anyway. Once he sees that the Espada couldn't cut it against the Thirteen Court Guard Squads, however, he proceeds to finally enter the fight himself and start cutting down everyone left and right.
  • No Saving Throw: There is no resisting his illusions unless you can touch Kyoka Suigetsu's blade before he activates his shikai. Even Yhwach's Almighty powers were capable of being fooled by them.
  • No-Sell: He seems to be immune to nearly everything the good guys throw at him until the huge stuff starts coming out.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Ichigo effortlessly catches his sword, Aizen begins to suffer a Villainous Breakdown, which peaks when Ichigo smashes a full-incantation Kurohitsugi with a flick of his wrist.
  • "Oh, Crap!" Fakeout
    • When the Captains and the Visored all team up to fight Aizen, their combined abilities seem to be overwhelming him. This culminates with Shinji reversing Aizen's perceptions of front and back, allowing Hitsugaya to slip past his defenses and impale him. The normally-unflappable villain reacts with a look of shock... but then it's revealed that Aizen had used his powers of illusion to covertly switch places with poor Momo, who was the actual victim of the heroes' attack.
    • Aizen's calm and smug demenor while being imprisoned in Muken indicates that his Villainous Breakdown after being defeated by Ichigo was this, as in the Thousand-Year Blood War it's revealed that far from having been depowered he became more powerful than ever.
  • One-Winged Angel: After Gin nearly kills him with his Bankai, Aizen - who was already in a Super Mode of sorts - reforms with massive butterfly-like wings and pupil-less eyes. When he realizes Ichigo has surpassed him, he undergoes a transformation into a Hollow-like monster, and proclaims that every time he's pushed to the brink of death, the Hogyoku will revive him in a more powerful form until he finally crosses the boundary between mortal and divine.
  • Orcus on His Throne: He has a tendency to simply sit around and let other people do stuff when he's capable of doing the job much better than them. He doesn't bother to finally fight the Thirteen Court Guard Squads and the Visoreds himself until all his remaining minions aside from Harribel and Gin are done for, upon which he gets up, cuts Harribel down himself for failing to kill a single Captain, and proceeds to start wiping the floor with his enemies.
  • Out-Gambitted: Aizen admits that the only one more intelligent than himself, is Kisuke Urahara. That means anything he can plan, Urahara can eventually counter. Urahara's riskiest counter ends up being based on his assumption Aizen will become almost unkillable if he fuses with the Hougyoku, so he prepares some stealth kido early in the fight, banking on Ichigo becoming strong enough to weaken Aizen enough for the kido to kick in and seal him. It works, just.
  • Overarching Villain: While he didn't debut until the Soul Society arc, it is gradually revealed throughout the following arcs that he has masterminded all the events prior to that, deliberately manipulating everyone to achieve his own ends — the final arc goes as far to show that Ichigo wouldn't have been conceived if not for Aizen. Though he was defeated at the series' halfway-point, he remains a driving force to the end, and plays a pivotal role in the Final Battle.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Ever since his reveal as the Big Bad, Aizen always a maintains a smirk on his face throughout except for the few occasions that he is outgambitted, although it is never permanent ,even after his defeat and imprisonment. Except he is overshadowed by his subordinate, Gin, who is one of the most blatant examples of this trope.
  • Physical God: He was already The Ace by the standards of Soul Reapers, but his goal was to eventually become this and usurp the throne of the Soul King. After he implants the Hogyoku into his chest he becomes more and more powerful until his spiritual pressure can no longer be sensed by any but the strongest beings, which he compares to how two-dimensional beings would be unable to properly perceive a three-dimensional one and claiming it as proof he has "transcended" mere mortals. Then the Hogyoku seemingly takes away said power-ups upon his defeat, only for his power to grow while in Muken to levels beyond what they were when he fought Ichigo.
  • Power Echoes: To highlight how powerful and monstrous he's become, in his final Hogyoku form his voice is given a reverberating effect.
  • Power Gives You Wings: In his third Hogyoku-induced transformation he sprouts three pairs of butterfly-like wings. In his fourth form, the bottom parts of the wings elongate into tentacles, fanged heads grow on the top parts, and eyes form in the middle of them.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: His second Hogyoku transformation causes him to grow a mullet as a sign of how powerful he's become, and his hair only gets longer with further transformations. To fully drive it home, when the Hogyoku seemingly DePowers him, his long hair tears away and leaves him with his original hairstyle.
  • Prisons Are Gymnasiums: Despite being assumed to have been Brought Down to Normal, Aizen is revealed to have become even more powerful than he was when he fought Ichigo while in Muken, and that's when he's partially sealed.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: This is pretty much his modus operandi, with it becoming gradually more evident in the Deicide event. He wants to remove the Spirit King and place himself as God. He believed the Hougyoku would help him achieve this aim.
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: Aizen mocked Urahara's inability to control and master the Hougyoku. Urahara counters with the belief that Aizen may not have mastered it as well as he thinks. Aizen dismisses Urahara as a sore loser, but it turns out that Urahara was completely right.
  • Renaissance Man: Aizen claims to have maxed out his entire potential as a Soul Reaper long ago, meaning that he has completely mastered all the Shinigami arts which include Zanjutsu (swordplay and Zanpakuto release), Hakuda (hand-to-hand combat), Hoho (speed), and Kido (spells). In addition, he is a tactician brilliant enough to be able to predict most of the actions of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads and Ichigo beforehand, a manipulator and actor so good that he had Soul Society in the dark for decades, is socially proficient enough to garner respect from Shinigami and Arrancar alike using masterful use of charisma, and a calligrapher accomplished enough become a teacher for it. His sheer adaptability is showcased when he simply adjusted to his former superior Shinji Hirako's sensory-reversing Shikai, a feat that Hirako himself noted was impossible.
  • Say My Name: Aizen feels he and Urahara are kindred spirits in terms of intellect, so is deeply unhappy that Urahara doesn't seem to agree with what he's doing. When Ichigo defeats him, Aizen is defeated with Urahara's name on his lips.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Since he cannot be killed, he was imprisoned in Muken, Soul Society's prison for serious threats. He is released by Kyōraku to fight against Yhwach, but is so dangerous that he has to be kept bound. Despite his bindings being destroyed, he willingly returns to Muken after Yhwach is slain.
  • Self-Made Superpowers: Aizen Sosuke created the Hogyoku to break the limits of Shinigami potential and steals Kisuke Urahara's, the only person he acknowledges to be smarter than him, to create a single one. He gains so many transformations and powers that it is best to see his wikia page.
  • Signature Move: Aside from Kyōka Suigetsu's complete hypnosis, Aizen's favorite Kido is Hadō #90, Kurohitsugi, the Black Coffin. Initially, he can only use the chantless form at one third power, but he masters it over the time-skip. The mastered form without the incantation envelops the entire Seireitei and exterminates the Soul King's out-of-control power overflow... despite Aizen being partially sealed at the time.
  • Slasher Smile: He truly did enjoy his fight with Ichigo, in a mad, sadistic manner.
  • Smug Snake: By the time Ichigo arrives for their final battle, Aizen has gotten so Drunk with Power that his ego has actually superseded his increased power, constantly boasting of his newfound superiority. His ego has so blinded him that even as Ichigo counters his techniques he keeps trying to brush it off with excuses and draw out more power, and only when Ichigo is about to hit him with Mugetsu does he finally comprehend that Ichigo is stronger than him, which prompts the beginning of his real breakdown.
  • Smug Super: For most of the story, Aizen stands heads above nearly every Soul Reaper and Arrancar shown aside from Yamamoto himself, and he knows it. Every battle has him easily beating his foes in single and mob-rush combat all with a smile, almost never legitimately losing his cool and calling out his foes. However, as he becomes Drunk with Power, he starts to slip into Smug Snake territory as his bark starts overpowering his bite. After his defeat, however, he goes right back to smugly gloating, which gets him sentenced to the deepest level of Soul Society's prison.
  • The Sociopath: Aizen puts up an affable façade to gain the trust of others. He is highly charismatic and manipulative. Aizen sees everyone around him, including his underlings, as little more than pawns to use and dispose of, has no empathy whatsoever, harms people just because he can, and tortured and killed who knows how many soul reapers in order to create the Hogyoku. He is unbound by any form of honor, law, morality, or decency, and is driven by a desire to 'stand in heaven'. When invading Soul Society in the Deicide arc, Aizen carelessly walks through Karakura knowing that anyone who came into close contact with his Reiatsu would die, showing no emotion while doing so, and played a twisted game of cat and mouse with Ichigo's human friends with intent of killing them and stringing up their corpses just to see Ichigo's reaction.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Ichimaru (himself no saint) once observed how Aizen enjoyed winding up both Tousen and Grimmjow (which resulted in Tousen cutting off Grimmjow's arm in exchange for not taking Grimmjow's life, leaving Tousen unsatisfied and Grimmjow disabled and kicked out of the Espada). This is just one of many instances.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": At least one Japanese material has spelt his name as Sousuke, while the Viz manga spells it Sōsuke. Made more confusing by the fact that the "so" and "u" characters in his name are separate.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: After Ichigo defeats him, Kyōka Suigetsu crumbles away into nothingness alongside his Hogyoku-induced transformations. When he's pulled out of Muken to fight Yhwach, however, Aizen is shown to be capable of using its illusionary powers without physically wielding it, and being able to conjure it at will.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: He bluntly tells Ichigo that he's known about him since the day he was born and has been manipulating him his entire life. At the very least, he wasn't lying about the first part. Aizen was present the day Isshin and Masaki met, was ultimately the reason they met at all, and therefore the reason why Ichigo, his sisters, and Uryu were even conceived.
  • Straw Nihilist: Aizen justifies his depraved actions with his belief that morals and ethics are nothing more than restrictions to one's full potential. Unlike most examples, Aizen believes that meaning can be brought to the world. It just has to be a world ruled by him. When he is finally defeated, he snaps and rants to Urahara, questioning him on why he doesn't share his views.
    Aizen: Urahara Kisuke! I despise you! Why does a man of your intellect sit idle?!
    Urahara: ... That's the way the world is.
    Aizen: That's the logic of a loser! A winner must always think not of how the world is, but how the world should be!
  • Strong and Skilled: Looking at his official stats across the board, Aizen is not only blessed with phenomenal physical strength, durability, endurance, Zanpakuto and reiastu levels, but also the intelligence, swordsmanship, kido mastery, and unarmed combat abilities to maximize their effectiveness. Part of the reason he wanted the Hogyoku was because he felt that he had already hit the "limit" of his natural physical capabilities and wanted to break through and reach higher levels, preferably to the divine.
  • Super Mode: His second transformation is identical to his normal form, just with longer hair and dark sclera.
  • Superpower Lottery: There are several lotteries in Bleach, ranging from speed to sheer power to special ability and so on. Aizen basically won them all.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: He loves his speeches, and when someone actually tries to subvert this trope, he lampshades it by criticizing them for interrupting him, and considering that his response to someone interrupting one of his speeches normally consists of him promptly cutting down the fool for speaking out of turn, it might as well be.
  • That Man Is Dead: Verbally subverted when he reveals the kindly captain everyone was familiar with was a mask and therefore never existed in the first place.
  • Third Act Stupidity: After the Hogyoku powers him up, Aizen believes he has risen above reason and strategy, and discards his cunning in favor of pure spiritual energy. By the time he realizes he's made a grave error, Ichigo is about to slice him in half with the Final Getsuga Tenshou.
  • Third Eye: When Aizen hits his third Hogyoku form, he gets a black vesica piscis mark on his forehead. When Ichigo enrages him enough to trigger his fourth transformation, the mark bursts to reveal a third eye.
  • This Cannot Be!: After over 300 chapters of everything going "according to plan", Aizen first screams this when he's forced to realize Ichigo has surpassed him in power, and then again when Urahara reveals the Hogyoku has rejected him as its master and is revoking the power it bestowed him.
  • This Was His True Form: After he is hit with Mugetsu, the Hogyoku recognizes his subconscious desire to be normal. While he isn't killed due to his immortality, his transformations slowly crumble away to reveal his original Soul Reaper form.
  • Torso with a View: Gin stabs Aizen through the chest with his bankai and activates its poison, blowing a massive hole through his sternum. Upon metamorphosing in response to that, Aizen's third Hogyoku form has a large Hollow-like hole in its chest with the aforementioned wish-granting jewel floating inside. His fourth form has three Hollow-like holes running from his torso to his abdomen, with the Hogyoku floating inside the uppermost one.
  • Troll: Aizen seems to go out of his way to hurt people without the slightest regard for whether it really benefits him. For example, both incidents that got Hinamori stabbed were largely pointless, but he sure seemed to be enjoying himself.
  • Unreliable Expositor: Aizen exposits more about the plot than possibly any other character. He tells us how shinigami combat works, he tells us the mechanics of soul fusion, he tells us how the MacGuffin works, and more besides. Too bad then, that there are half-truths, fabrications and outright lies in a good chunk of it.
  • Victory Fakeout: Thanks to his illusions, he often makes his opponents think they've won when they haven't even come close. The most brutal moment is when the captains and Vaizards think they've killed Aizen, only to discover Hitsugaya has stabbed Hinamori.
  • Villain Decay: He is blessed with a lot of abilities others don't have but his greatest asset is his cunning. When he finally discards his cunning in favour of his One-Winged Angel transformations, he shifts from being a Machiavellian Chess Master to a Spoiled Brat who throws temper tantrums at his opponents.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He quickly loses his composure once it turns out that his defeat is near. After his defeat, he goes right back to his usual arrogant self.
  • Villain in a White Suit: In Hueco Mundo, Aizen initially wears the white clothing typical of the Arrancar over his Soul Reaper uniform. After Orihime's kidnapping, he is fully decked out in white clothing.
  • Villainous Rescue: In the final battle against Yhwach, Aizen actually jumps in front of Renji to protect him from one of the Emperor's attacks. Likewise, he uses Kyoka Suigetsu to trick Yhwach and it results in Aizen losing his arm instead of Ichigo. Yhwach calls him out on this, claiming he has now become the very kind of loser he always looked down on. Aizen refutes it with a fairly practical "enemy of my enemy" attitude.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: He's interested in Ichigo's powers and Orihime's potential. He was interested in Masaki because his experimental Arrancar was supposed to target Soul Reapers for Hollowfication but suddenly abandoned the Soul Reaper it's fighting to infect a Quincy the moment it detected Masaki's presence.
  • Villain Team-Up: Aizen states that he doesn't work with people and he doesn't encourage loyalty among his subordinates. He's no believer in sharing the spotlight with another villain. When Yhwach asks Aizen to join him, Aizen not only refuses but manipulates Yhwach's time perception while he's at it.
  • Villain Teleportation: During his power-ups, the Hogyoku eventually appears to give him the ability to teleport. It appears to split him into pieces then reconstitute him at the new location. He's only ever used it twice, both times against stationary opponents. Gin was too astonished to react and Ichigo was overwhelming Aizen so completely, he deliberately let Aizen flee his proximity before mocking him for putting distance between them.
  • Visionary Villain: His goal in replacing the Soul King and becoming a god seems to be rooted in a desire to change the foundations of how the Bleach universe itself functions after learning about the "truth" of the Soul King. He angrily calls out Urahara for being a man whose intellect challenges his own yet has no ambition to change the system.
  • Walking Wasteland: During the Deicide Arc, he's so powerful that only powerful spirits can survive just being in his presence. Otherwise, humans straight up explode and objects literally disintegrate. When he's partially unsealed from Muken to fight against Yhwach and the Quincies, Aizen demonstrates that his power has grown to new heights by causing one orderly's hands to disintegrate just from being too near him to Kyoraku's shock.
  • We Have Reserves: He doesn't care if he loses Arrancar, because he can always make more with the Hogyoku.
  • Wicked Cultured: During his time as Captain of Squad 5, he taught a popular class in Calligraphy at the Soul Reaper Academy. When Hueco Mundo is invaded, he is primarily concerned with making sure everybody has their tea before discussing the matter. Also a master swordsman, martial artist and scientist, to the point where the Soul Reaper Woman's Association recommended him as a teacher for students who want to become a Badass Bookworm.
  • Winged Humanoid: During his power-ups, he gains multiple pairs of wings.
  • Worthy Opponent: After Ichigo and Aizen have their great battle, Ichigo is left feeling this was Aizen's deepest reason for why he walked the path he did, along with I Just Want to Have Friends.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • As part of his kindly persona, Aizen manipulated his lieutenant Momo into falling in love with him, but when she discovered he was still alive he stabbed her for his own sadistic amusement. He later used his Shikai to trick the Captains and Visored into fighting her in his place, with Hitsugaya impaling her, before revealing the illusion.
    • When Aizen judged the Arrancar to no longer be necessary, he cut down Tier Harribel himself.
  • You Have Out Lived Your Usefulness: If his subordinates cannot meet his expectations, he has no problem cutting them down and discarding them himself. Harribel and Tousen learned this the hard way.

    Gin Ichimaru 

Gin Ichimaru
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 graduated from the Academy after just one year.
  • 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: He believes in behaving like a snake - taking one's time before making the perfect strike. 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 can extend even further though this is neither its true focus nor even its secondary one.
  • Bishounen: 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. 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 Tōsen 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.
  • Child Prodigy: As a child, he graduated out of the six-year academy programme in one year.
  • Co-Dragons: He shared the position with Kaname Tōsen as Aizen’s right-hand men. Tosen was more of a straight-up lieutenant and Gin was more of a tagalong assassin that deliberately waited for an opportunity to act upon his goal of killing Aizen.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Among other things, he's quite fond of "shooting" Shinsou 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.
  • 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. 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 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.
  • 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 completely Affably Evil in the anime omakes, where he addresses the audience without a hint of malice.
  • 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 a very evenly spread all-rounder.
  • Jerkass: He offers to save Rukia from execution then tells her he lied. He has fun watching Tousen chop off Grimmjow's arm. He manipulates the corridors to force Rukia to meet Aaronierro. He was always infamous for playing mean pranks on people.
  • 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: He stops by to see Rukia before her execution and offers her a chance to escape death if she'll join him... seconds later, he admits he was just screwin' with her, so there was really no point in answering since he was going to let her die no matter what she said, all while keeping that goddamn smile.
  • 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's creepy manner. Ironically, when Luppi shows up on Arrancar Encyclopedia, he claims that he doesn't really like Gin.
  • Long-Range Fighter: His zanpakutou Shinso can grow in length, allowing Gin to attack with it from a safe distance that is almost impossible to counter. His bankai, Kamishni no Yari is even longer, allowing him to easily cut through anything over 10km 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:
    • In the Soul Society arc, he manages to bring Rukia's hidden desire to be saved by saying that he'd rescue her... and when he said I 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 can be translated as "God-Killing Spear". He intended to use it on Aizen, whose objective was to become a god.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • OOC 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.
  • 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 Tousen 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.
  • "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 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.
  • Sadist: Gin cultivates this image very convincingly, due to the Slasher Smile that he keeps on his face whenever he causes someone pain, from mentally torturing Rukia to cutting Hiyori in half. He even points out that he toys with his "prey" like a snake.
  • Smug Smiler: The perpetual smile he has is rather mocking.
  • Smug Snake: He calls himself this, claiming he hunts for prey then torments them before consuming them.
  • 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.

    Kaname Tōsen 

Kaname Tosen
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 can be negated simply by touching his sword.
  • 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: His death is played as a tragic thing as he finally realizes he may not have been acting in a super great manner. He explodes before he can do anything about it. 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 a 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.
  • Ax-Crazy: Due to his obsession with justice, he tends to be pretty brutal himself. Once he becomes an insectile Soul Reaper-Hollow Hybrid it becomes even clearer as he drops his calm demeanor.
  • 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 Tousen questions his view that Hollows, and by extension Hollowfication, are inherently evil, Komamura clarifies that he's criticizing Tousen's new powers for being the end result of 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.
  • Blind Black Guy: He was born blind and is the darkest-skinned captain.
  • Blind Justice: He's a blind warrior for justice. However, his pursuit of justice was warped by his desire for revenge, resulting in him siding with the enemy and leaving behind two people who swore to open his eyes to the true path of justice.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: He managed to become a captain despite his handicap.
  • Broken Pedestal: Shuuhei 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 Tousen hadn't obtained this Resureccion he would have easily stopped Hisagi's attack.
  • Co-Dragons: Shared the position with Gin Ichimaru as Aizen’s right-hand men. Gin was more of a tagalong assassin and Tosen was more of a straight-up lieutenant.
  • 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 Tousen to "open his eyes", an unsubtle play on the fact that Tousen 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 Tousen had still been blind, Hisagi would never have been able to do it. "Opening his eyes" really did kill him.
  • Disability Immunity: Since he's blind, Aizen's illusions have no effect on him.
  • Drunk with Power: When he powers up in his final battle, he unravels as well.
  • Dying as Yourself: He finally understands why Komamura and Hisagi wanted to restore his sense to him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Tousen despises meaningless bloodshed. He had a strong disdain towards Kenpachi Zaraki for attaining his rank of captain by killing his predecessor. Additionally, Tousen punished Grimmjow for mobilizing five Arrancar (which resulted in their deaths) by cutting off the Espada's arm.
  • Evil All Along: 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.
  • Freudian Excuse: His best friend/crush married a Soul Reaper, who killed her 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.
  • 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 Tousen 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, Tousen'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 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.
  • 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.
  • Make Some Noise: Tosen's zanpakuto 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.
  • Mask of Power: During his final fight, he reveals he was bestowed with Hollow powers and dons a blank white mask that vastly increases his abilities.
  • One-Winged Angel: 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 Power: 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 Tousen 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.
  • 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: Tousen's bankai creates 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 Tousen'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.
  • Weapon Twirling: Just before Tousen unleashes 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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