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Characters that appeared in Tite Kubo's Bleach. This page is for the present members of the first to seventh squads of Gotei 13 / 13 Court Guard Squads.
Contains unmarked spoilers!
Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto
The late Captain of the first squad and commander of the Gotei 13, he's one of the most powerful characters in the whole series. A sage-looking old man who doesn't speak a lot, he created the Soul Reaper Academy, founded the Gotei 13 and strongly believes in following the law.
His Zanpakuto is named Ryujin Jakka, rightfully reputed as the most powerful fire-type. His Bankai is Zanka no Tachi, rightfully reputed to be the equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction, capable of instantly drying the air itself, harnessing heat equivalent to that of the Sun, and even re-animating the bones and ashes of fallen enemies.
- Animate Dead: Zanka no Tachi South: Kaka Juuman Okushi Daisoujin summons an army of corpses. They're actually the corpses of those that have been killed by Ryūjin Jakka's flames.
- An Arm and a Leg: Yamamoto sacrifices his arm in battle to blow up Aizen. After Aizen is eventually defeated, Yamamoto never seeks help in having the arm replaced or restored, both of which are possible. When he and Yhwach meet in battle for the first time in a thousand years, Yhwach tells him that he's become weak and is no longer the formidable opponent Yhwach remembers. To Yhwach, Yamamoto's missing arm represents the loss of Yamamoto's ruthless, thuggish nature which is what made him so dangerous in the past. Yamamoto's refusal to ask Orhime to restore his lost arm is what Yhwach cites as the reason why he so easily defeats Yamamoto and steals his Bankai. The defeat of Yamamoto sets off a chain of events that changes the entire direction of the Gotei 13, and opens the Royal Realm to being conquered.
- The Atoner: He used to lead a far more violent and brutal Gotei 13 when he was younger. Yhwach claims the Quincy massacre forced Yamamoto to re-evaluate himself and his past. However, a flashback to a youthful Kyouraku indicates Yamamoto's remorse goes back far further than Yhwach knows.
- Ashes to Ashes: A technique of his Bankai, Zanka no Tachi South: Kaka Juuman Okushi Daisoujin, reforms the ashes of those he has killed into an undead army.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Yhwach states the reason Yamamoto is in charge of the Gotei 13 is because he set up the original "13 Divisions", a group of powerful, terrible thugs, of which Yamamoto was by far the worst. While Yhwach states how Yamamoto has mellowed since then into "weakness", Yamamoto himself tells Aizen that the reason why he is still captain-commander is because no-one born in the last thousand years has been more powerful than him.
- Bad Boss: Yhwach claims that Yamamoto used to be just like him, a ruthless demon who led a band of killers, someone who didn't think twice about sacrificing his own men in pursuit of victory. Yamamoto doesn't refute the claim. Yhwach complains that the real Gotei 13 died a thousand years ago because, after destroying the Quincies, they inherited a world of peace which gave them a reason to start caring about life and each other. As a result, Yamamoto isn't the monster he was back then, and Yhwach considers him weaker for it.
- Bald of Awesome: He's the oldest known Soul Reaper and the Captain Commander. He's bald because he lived long enough to lose his hair, but don't count his age against him. He's been the most powerful Soul Reaper for a thousand years.
- Berserk Button: At the end of the Winter War, he chews out Byakuya, Kyoraku and Kenpachi for losing their captain's haori during their fights, becoming even more infuriated by how apathetic they are about it.
- Big Good: While initially put in an antagonistic light for his strict adherence to the Central 46, even turning on his favorite captains Shunsui and Ukitake, he becomes more reasonable once Aizen outs himself as the Big Bad, leading the Gotei 13 to stop him from massacring Karakura Town to create a new Soul Key. This trope is particularly hammered in when he orders all the captains and vice-captains to put their reiatsu into a special blade that revives Ichigo's powers after he's personally Brought Down to Normal, something that he never would have done in the past.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: He has massive, thin eyebrow that actually spill out across the side of his head and hang down.
- Cane Sword: Ryujin Jakka's sealed form is hidden inside a walking staff. To enter shikai, the staff dissolves into nothing, leaving only the sword behind.
- Cassandra Did It: When Yamamoto confronts Mayuri about the steps Mayuri's taken to counter the Vandenreich's potentially world-unbalancing activities, he briefly tries to pin the blame for the extent of the problem on Mayuri and his division's competence level. Mayuri retaliates by pointing out the only one to blame is Yamamoto himself for ignoring Mayuri's Cassandra Truth well over two years beforehand as paranoia when it was Yamamoto's own fault for not killing the cause of the problem years ago. Yamamoto's forced to back down.
- Character Development: When he met Hirako for the first time in the present events, he actually considers attacking the former captain for not pledging his support to the Soul Reapers (not that it stopped other Soul Reapers from helping the Visoreds anyway). After Aizen is defeated and everything calms down, Yamamoto switches his position entirely in the novel Death Save The Strawberry. He actually lifts the ban on the Visoreds (and the exiled former captains), rationalizing that they were not guilty due to their situations being influenced by Aizen's machinations, not their own intentions. Urahara is especially thankful.
- The Coats Are Off: When Yamamoto gets serious in battle, he tosses away the haori and even loses the upper half of his kimono to fight bare-chested.
- Creepy Good: In his battle against Yhwach, Yamamoto is technically fighting to protect Soul Society but he enjoys seeing Yhwach suffer a bit too much. Wrapped in the flames of his Bankai, Yamamoto evokes the image of an infernal demon and uses its South ability to summon an armada of charred skeletons to attack his enemy. When Yhwach tries to fight back, Yamamoto attempts to torment him by pointing out that some of the skeletons were his former subordinates. Yamamoto doesn't realize he's fighting a subordinate of Yhwach called Royd who has the ability to mimic Yhwach's appearance. As a result, the tears Yamamoto thinks he's drawing out from Yhwach are instead the compassion of the disguised Royd.
- Didn't See That Coming: Yamamoto trashed Yhwach with his Bankai, completely certain he knew everything there was to know about Yhwach's heart, abilities and limitations. He turned out to be wrong about all three. Yamamoto was fighting a decoy which allowed Yhwach time to visit and try to recruit Aizen. Yhwach was then able to steal Yamamoto's Bankai and defeat him.
- Distressed Dude: In the Zanpakutou filler arc, Muramasa held him prisoner behind a barrier that was being maintained by the Zanpakutou spirits of Kyouraku, Ukitake and Unohana's weapons. A significant portion of the arc is spent by the Soul Reapers and Ichigo trying to rescue him. They didn't realise until too late that he had deliberately sealed himself from Muramasa to prevent Muramasa from stealing his memories.
- Everyone Has Standards: He's not exactly a nice person, but Aizen deliberately striping Wonderweiss of every facet of his personality and ability to reason still seems cruel to him.
- Eyes Always Shut: When he opens his eyes, his mood is usually incredibly dangerous.
- Founder of the Kingdom: 2,100 years ago, he was the creator and head instructor of the "Genji School", an educational program meant to train prospective Soul Reapers, which operates outside the jurisdiction of Central 46. This would later evolve into the Spiritual Arts Academy, which included training sessions for cadets looking to get into the Stealth Force and the Kido Corps. A millennium later, he founded the Gotei 13, a military organization for the Soul Reapers and an agency that he has led since its inception.
- Four Is Death: The "ei" in his previous nickname Eijisai (ノ字斎, referencing the shape of his scar) is the fourth kanji radical in the sequence. It's revealed as part of the lead-in to the fight that ends with his death.
- Godzilla Threshold: Yamamoto used to keep his picture on his wall of a humanoid figure completely bathed in flames. As a young child, Kyouraku once asked Yamamoto whether that was a picture of some kind of fire god. Yamamoto somewhat cryptically explains that the picture is a memory of a time when a monster was needed to save Soul Society... but when that monster appeared, he created more problems than he solved; Yamamoto predicts that if the monster ever needs to appear again, he won't survive it. The west aspect Yamamoto's Bankai bathes Yamamoto in reiatsu that burns as hot as the core of the Sun and which manifests around his body in way that makes him look as though he's wreathed in flames, just like the picture on his wall. Even in the first blood war against the Quincy, he did not use it. 1000 years later the Quincy kill the majority of the first Squad, including his vice-captain Sasakibe. In the following invasion Yamamoto's anger becomes great enough that he activates his Bankai just so he can get rid of the Quincy and especially their leader Yhwach once and for all. When Yamamoto activates his Bankai, it's revealed that he has to end the fight quickly because the Bankai will destroy the world by accident; the side-effect of its great heat is that it will destroy all moisture in existence, even the moisture in the atmosphere and people's bodies.
- Good Is Not Nice: He is such a stern believer in justice that he almost killed his two favourite students for standing up for what was right instead of what was law. Ichigo is responsible for making him mellow out.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: His body is a network of scars. The scars on his forehead have stories that do get revealed in late in the manga.
- Grumpy Old Man: Yamamoto has never smiled nor laughed and he's never cracked a joke in his life. When he is not roaring at the top of his lungs, he has a stern, unimpressed expression that can easily turn to accusatory (e.g. the argument with Mayuri).
- Handicapped Badass: He loses an arm after casting a powerful, sacrificial kido spell against Aizen. Although Ukitake states that the loss doesn't stop Yamamoto from being the most powerful Soul Reaper in Soul Society, Yhwach later points out that the disability has prevented Yamamoto from being classified as a Special War Potential. Yhwach believes that Yamamoto's refusal to get his arm restored by Orihime has left him too emotionally and physically softened to be a proper threat to Yhwach.
- Honor Before Reason: Yhwach believed the only reason Orihime didn't restore Yamamoto's missing arm was because he was far too proud to rely on a human's help.
- Hope Bringer: The Vandenreich have invaded the Soul Society and are swatting down Red Shirts left and right without much to stop them, and even the Captains aren't very effective against them due to the Vandenreich's ability to steal Bankai. Things look completely hopeless until Yamamoto steps in, after which the Gotei 13 gets a massive morale boost that's even Lampshaded by one of the Stern Ritter; when he's killed, morale plummets.Bambietta Basterbine: "Hey hey, wait. You were about to die until a moment ago. What happened?"
- Irony: As the head of the Gotei 13, Yamamoto is responsible for the Shinigami under his rule acting as balancers to make sure that the deceased properly reincarnate. The South aspect of his Bankai allows him to summon the corpses of those who died in his flames and force them to act as his sword. Yhwach points out how ironic this is and claims that Yamamoto is a disgrace to the name of Shinigami.
- It's Personal: The enmity between Yamamoto and Yhwach is quite personal. When the Vandenreich ransack Soul Society, Yamamoto takes to the front line, something he rarely does. The death of Choujirou exacerbates the situation, sending him gunning for Yhwach and launching straight into Bankai without much preamble.
- Knight Templar: This guy generally means well, but he has a rather high respect for the laws of Soul Society, and will kick anyone's ass for daring to defy them. It's implied that his adherence to the law is his way of making up for his previous life as a warlord presiding over a lawless Wretched Hive that was once (and largely still is) the Soul Society.
- Lawful Stupid: When the Central 46 makes a ruling, no-one is allowed to oppose that ruling, not even captains. It's later revealed that this system of justice was either set up by, or helped to be set up by, Yamamoto, who enforces it with an unforgiving rigidity. When Ukitake and Kyouraku, his two favourite students, rebel, he is willing to kill them for their transgression. Only when it's revealed that everything was Aizen's manipulations does Yamamoto back down and focus on the real problem. After the time skip, Yamamoto has been softened enough by Ichigo's beliefs that he's finally willing to break the law to save Ichigo to repay the debt the captains owe him. This softening took over a thousand years to achieve; Yamamoto was that rigid.
- Let Them Die Happy: Right before her execution, Rukia's last wish is for Ichigo and friends to be granted safe passage back home, and Yamamoto agrees. Unohana claims that he did it so that Rukia may die peacefully, while Isane believes that it was such an obvious lie that she found it to be Cruel Mercy.
- Meaningful Name: Shunsui shortens his name to Yama-jii or grandpa Yama. Yama just happens to be the name of the ruler of Hell in Buddhism. A rather fitting name for the head of the death gods. The fiery and necromantic aspects of his Zanpakto make the connection more obvious.
- Meaningful Rename: The "Genryusai" name is one that he adopted after getting his last scar from the fight in which Sasakibe showed him his Bankai. From "Eijisai", to "Juujisai" (referring to the cross-shaped scar Sasakibe gave him), and then "Genryusai" (to honor Sasakibe for injuring him). The actual translation of the name gives it even more meaning. Genryuusai (元柳斎) means "original willow sage" to his name because of this. In Chinese folklore, the willow is believed to ward off evil spirits; in Japanese, it's associated with ghosts and the afterlife. It's also a symbol of strength; geisha call their society the "flower and willow world": beautiful and requiring strength to endure.
- Never My Fault: During the Thousand-Year Blood War arc, he tries to place the blame on the Vandenreich's attack on Mayuri, stating that if he and his division were more competent, the entire mess could have been avoided. Mayuri quickly turns the tables on Yamamoto, pointing out that he had specifically warned him that a Quincy attack on Soul Society was likely to happen after Uryu's infiltration, but Yamamoto dismissed him as paranoid and thus did nothing to prepare, which is exactly what left them vulnerable to Yhwach's invasion in the first place.Yamamoto: If your Research and Development Department had reported and managed it more promptly, this situation may have been avoidable.
Mayuri: That is not true. I foresaw and suggested this situation the moment Uryuu Ishida, the Quincy, infiltrated the Soul Society as a Ryouka. It was you who disregarded that as being absurd. Isn't the principal cause of this situation you, Captain-General?
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: Yamamoto is brutal and serious. During the battle against Aizen and his Arrancar, he imprisons Kaname, Gin, and Aizen himself in powerful flames. When he actually fights during the war, he makes sure Ayon is completely destroyed. Rather than despair that Ryuujin Jakka is nullified by the Arrancar, he ultimately killed Wonderweiss through other means. During the invasion started by the Vandenreich, as soon as he sees Driscoll Berci using his subordinate's Bankai, he immediately incinerates him. When he faces Yhwach, he immediately uses Bankai, rather than have another sword clash, and makes it clear that he wanted to annihilate him, not looking forward to waste time on other things.
- No-Sell: Notably one of the only people that can boast being unaffected by Aizen's Shikai, not because he can not be affected by it, but because his raw power means that even if Aizen does attempt to use it, his flames cannot be tricked by Aizen's powers.
- Not So Different: During the Thousand Year Blood War, Yamamoto expresses disgust with how heartless Yhwach is towards his own subordinates. However, Yhwach observes that Yamamoto used to be every bit as brutal as him. He describes the original version of the Gotei 13 as thugs who were led by a demon and strongly implies that Yamamoto's Bankai possesses the ability to summon Yamamoto's dead subordinates because they were killed by Yamamoto himself. Neither man denies the assessment of the other, and a flashback briefly shows Yamamoto once indicating to a much younger Kyouraku that he used to be a monster. Yhwach believes the only difference now between them is that Yamamoto grew too accustomed to peace, which started him on the road towards caring about others and therefore has made him 'weak'.
- Oh, Crap!: Yamamoto decisively dominates his fight with Yhwach and quickly kills him. However, when the dying Yhwach apologizes, Yamamoto unravels with shock: as the man who led the attack a thousand years ago, Yhwach shouldn't have anyone to apologize to for losing. When he realizes he has defeated a fake and that the real Yhwach is still alive, he's absolutely stunned.
- The Older Immortal: By far the oldest Soul Reaper. Yamamoto is at least 2,000 years old, potentially much older. There is an anime omake lampshading the fact that not only is he old-looking, he apparently has not aged since Kyoraku and Ukitake were young... er. In a manga flashback set during that period, though, he does look more middle aged during this time period.
- Old Master: He's been the captain-commander for a thousand years because no one in that time has been strong enough to challenge his position. He is enormously powerful. His Zanpakutou is the most powerful offensive sword in history but when it's taken away from him, all he does is show case his mastery in all the other Shinigami Arts as well. He founded the training academy and his best students were Kyouraku and Ukitake, whom he regards as being like sons to him.
- One-Hit Kill: How he ends most of his fights. Not even Aizen or Yhwach are foolish enough to take a direct hit from Ryujin Jakka. Wonderweiss was developed just to stop this from happening.
- Person of Mass Destruction: The sheer magnitude of his power means that he is a walking deathtrap for anyone around him. His Bankai destroys all the moisture that exists for miles around — not just in the atmosphere and in standing water but even within the human body itself. Unohana indicates Yamamoto's bankai will destroy the world just by being active for too long.
- Pet the Dog: He's a harsh man who used to be little more than a thug. Ichigo's compassion has had enough of an impact on him that he ordered the Gotei 13 to save Ichigo as repayment for the debt they owed him for unmasking Aizen's plot and spared the lives of Apache, Mira-Rose and Sun-Sung out of respect for their determination to fight for what they believe in while badly injured.
- Playing with Fire: Yamamoto's entire power is centered around this and his zanpakuto, the most powerfuly fire-type weapon in Soul Reaper history, generates a phenomenal amount of fire even at its weakest levels. His idea of holding back is to toast an enemy to within an inch of their life and then let them live.
- The Power of the Sun: His Bankai is incredibly powerful compared to even his Shikai's flames. The heat he generates is equal to the Sun's core and if active for too long will destroy the world around him.
- Recruiting the Criminal: Some of the captains have a history of severe criminal behaviour, such as Kenpachi Zaraki, or engage in criminal behaviour to do their jobs, such as Mayuri. Also, Captain Unohana is the worst criminal in Soul Society history.
- Required Secondary Powers: Averted. Yamamoto freely acknowledges to Aizen that if he's caught in his own flames, he'll die, too.
- Ring of Fire: He creates one to prevent any intervention during his brief scuffle with Shunsui and Ukitake. He later uses Jokaku Enjo, a cage of fire, to put Aizen, Gin, and Tousen out of action for much of the Fake Karakura Town arc.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The death of Sasakibe fills him with so much anger that, once he meets the Quincy again, he activates his Bankai at the risk of destroying Soul Society. He proceeds to fight Yhwach, the leader of the Quincy and swears that once he is done with him, he will hunt down each and every Quincy until there are no more left.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Normally obeys the laws and judgements of Central 46 without question. However, even he agrees to repaying Soul Society's debt to Ichigo, regardless of tradition, to the extent of outright ordering the Gotei 13 to aid in restoring Ichigo's powers.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: During his fight with Driscoll who uses Sasakibe's bankai against him. Driscoll goes on and on how powerful he now is. Yamamoto purposely takes the attack and is barely even affected by it. Driscoll doesn't realize this and keeps gloating until Yamamoto declares that his former lieutenant's bankai wasn't that weak before flaying Driscoll with his shikai.
- Taking You with Me: Attempted on Aizen, via Itto Kaso (a Kido spell that used his arm as a catalyst for an explosion). He tried one earlier by taking Aizen's sword in his gut (thereby dissipating the illusions from Kyouka Suigetsu) and declaring that they'll kill each other in short order, but Wonderweiss stepped in.
- Took a Level in Kindness: From the days of the founding of the Academy, he significantly loosened up in comparison to the warlord he once was (and even then, he was still rather harsh). After the Quincy war, the Soul Society fell into the kind of peace that bred a softening of the heart, and once Ichigo appeared on the scene, Yamamoto's descent into kindness was cemented; he ordered the Gotei 13 to restore Ichigo's Soul Reaper power and uses his judicial authority (an emergency power after Central 46 was Board to Death) to abolish the exile on Urahara's crew and lift the ban on the Visoreds. Yhwach claims that he could kill Yamamoto precisely because Yamamoto was no longer harsh and pragmatic enough to handle Yhwach.
- Tranquil Fury: After Sasakibe's death, he simmers with silent fury. He keeps it in check and fights Sasakibe's killer, Driscoll, with cold fury. When he moves to confront Yhwach, his rage burns such hot flames into the air behind him that the whole of the Seireitei feels the heat of his rage. He still speaks calmly to Yhwach, however.
- Unfriendly Fire: Zanka no Tachi South allows Yamamoto to summon the corpses of everyone he killed with the flames of his Zanpakto; when he fights what he thinks is Yhwach, he summons forth Yhwach's subordinates whom he killed a thousand years ago. When Yhwach takes control of his Bankai, he threatens to use the Bankai to summon forth Yamamoto's own subordinates. Yamamoto is outraged by the suggestion, but Yhwach's offer implies that Yamamoto killed his own men for it to be possible to summon them at all.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The reason he allows Mayuri to break the law in the course of doing his job is because he tends to agree that sometimes the ends do justify the means. Yamamoto admitted that he would've allowed Kurotsuchi to kill those citizens in the Rukongai, had Kurotsuchi told him beforehand and the reason for it.
- With Us or Against Us: When confronted by Hirako over the Visoreds' intention to oppose Aizen, but not ally with the Soul Reapers, Yamamoto responds by unsheathing his sword, although Hirako leaves before Yamamoto could use it.
- Would Hurt a Child: Wonderweiss looks like a child, but is designed to seal the power of Yamamoto's zanpakutou, the most powerful offensive weapon in Gotei history. When Wonderweiss transforms into something no longer resembling a child, Yamamoto says that he's glad Wonderweiss no longer looks like a child because he can now kill Wonderweiss without feeling any remorse. His speech strongly implies that he would not hesitate to kill a child if necessary, even if he felt regret about it afterwards.
Chojiro Tadaoki Sasakibe
The late Lieutenant of the 1st squad and... not a whole lot besides that. Virtually everything we know about him comes from the Data Books; he's someone who stays in the background and almost never fights in the manga. The first time he came to notice was when Ichigo defeated Sasakibe, Kotetsu, and Omaeda shortly after obtaining Bankai. He has the most unusual eyes in the manga: they're solid gold in color and lack both pupils and sclera.
His Zanpakuto is named Gonryomaru, a traditional western rapier with electrical abilities. His Bankai is Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū, capable of calling down thunderstorms and bolts of lighting.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the manga, his eyes are solid gold with neither pupils nor sclera. In the anime, he's given normal sclera and pupils, leaving him with golden irises.
- All There in the Manual: He's so much a part of the background in the manga that most of the information comes from the databooks. It's not until the final arc that we see flashbacks explaining his relationship with Yamamoto.
- Barrier Warrior: He's the one who guarded the barrier over Karakura and later opened it to let the Visoreds pull their Big Damn Heroes.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The first invasion of the Vandenreich ends with Choujirou being impaled by a giant Quincy lance. Yamamoto lets the Quincies go in order to save Choujirou. Choujirou's wounds turn out to be fatal and he dies fairly quickly after being released from the lance.
- Informed Ability: He was captain-class, but he also never fought, so people only knew his strength by reputation. He possesses Bankai but it's only revealed after his death.
- Minor Major Character: He is the lieutenant of the prestigious first division, serving as the captain-commander's second. However, he almost never takes part in any fighting and has very few lines. He is very much Yamamoto's shadow; a role he worked hard to cultivate.
- Odd Couple: The Databooks say him and his captain make an unstoppable team, but they have differing tastes in tea, which they argue about all the time. Tea isn't the only thing they argue over. Chojiro is a fan of Western culture (England mainly) and dislikes Japanese culture while Yamamoto prefers Japanese culture and disapproves of Western culture.
- Shock and Awe: Due to a lack of screentime where he fought, the Zanpakuto Unknown Tales filler arc was the first time where we got to see his Zanpakutō's ability, albeit in a non-canon situation. It wasn't until Yamamoto's battle against Driscoll Berci who stole Sasakibe's Bankai that we finally get to see it in the canon storyline.
- Undying Loyalty: In a similar vein to Ikkaku, it's mentioned that he could have been promoted to Captain, but he turned down the offer whenever there was a vacancy out of loyalty to Yamamoto.
Real name Feng Shaoling, is the overly strict captain of the 2nd squad and also a Ninja. Her speciality lies mainly with speed and unarmed combat. She has a history together with Yoruichi and respects her so highly it's used as a Running Gag. She may be super-efficient and cold when it comes to her job, but when alone and subjected to anything Yoruichi (or black cats in general), she gets googly-eyed.
Her zanpakutou is named Suzumebachi, an ornate gauntlet and stinger enveloping her right middle finger. It allows her to instantly kill her enemy if she hits the same spot twice. Her Bankai is Jakuhō Raikōben, an enormous battery housing a missile with enough destructive power to level a city block.
She is able to use a special form of Shunko called Mukyu Shunkō, which recycles the energy she uses to grant her infinite stamina.
- Ambiguously Gay: The true nature of Sui-Feng's attachment to her mentor, Yoruichi, and her sexuality in general is treated ambiguously. She's a stern, no-nonsense personality who wilts and fawns in the presence of Yoruichi. Yoruichi used to be her entire world, someone she worshipped; her loyal was so great that, when her mentor went on the run from Soul Society without warning, Sui-Feng was devastated. When Yoruichi returns after a hundred years, Sui-Feng is so angry she tries to kill her before breaking down in tears, begging to know why Yoruichi didn't take her into exile with her. In supplemental material, slice-of-life comedy sketches focus on her attempting to sneak photographs of Yoruichi in nude. The anime team played with this, creating filler episodes that create heavy Ship Tease between the two women. In the post-manga novels, the villain can insult her subordinates and family and mock the incompetence of her division, but the only thing that makes her angry is his suggestion that he take Yoruichi as his wife. When Yoruichi rejects Tokinada, Sui-Feng is so happy that she forgets her mission.
- Anchored Attack Stance: In order to counter her bankai's tremendous recoil, she has to anchor herself to a large stationary object by wrapping a heavy metal sash around it, making her largely immobile. The one time we see her doing this is against Baraggan, where she wraps the sash around the building she's standing on, and even then, the force of the bankai's explosion is so great that it blows the building away and tears the sash apart, sending Sui-Feng flying.
- Animal Motifs: The Japanese Giant Hornet, a subspecies of Asian Giant Hornet. Highly aggressive, a very capable killer, famous for its sting but far more famous for its physical prowess... is that the hornet being described or Sui-Feng?
- Arm Cannon: Her zanpakutou brings her under this trope for short periods of time. In shikai, her zanpakutou integrates with a finger on her right hand to turn her into the ultimate two-hit kill warrior. However, in bankai, her zanpakutou becomes a stinger missile launcher that is integrated with her entire right arm to turn her into the ultimate one-hit kill warrior.
- Blessed with Suck: This is her general opinion of her bankai. As she explained to Baraggan, it's size makes it impossible for her to conceal it, the sheer weight of it makes it difficult for her to move, and the resulting explosion is big enough to be seen by the entire city. Which is why she was hoping she wouldn't have to use it, but was left with no choice.
- Blow You Away: When Sui-Feng activates Shunko against Yoruichi, she creates gusts of wind around herself to fight. When she fights BG9 she confirms that her Shunko form is Wind which allows her to create reiatsu tornadoes around her body.
- Bodyguard Crush: She was one of Yoruichi's personal guards and came to worship her as a goddess.
- Braids of Action: Her hair is quite long, but it doesn't show up well because it's kept in very thin braids, presumably so it doesn't get in the way of fighting.
- Close-Range Combatant: The Onmitsukido specializes in unarmed combat and, as their Supreme Commander, Sui-Feng is the most proficient at it. The caption on pg.196 of The Official Character Book: Souls even states:caption: "Sui-Feng's close combat skills rival, or even surpass, those of Yoruichi's."
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She begins to dethaw around the time of the White War on. She's still cold, but she's much friendlier to her colleagues, including her bumbling lieutenant.
- Discard and Draw: During the Thousand Year Blood War, her bankai is stolen, forcing her to compensate. She finally masters Shunko and appears to have the advantage at first, though the attack actually failed.
- Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Ggio Vega notes that her shikai would have a much higher success rate if she would stop doing that. Then she kills him with it. Turns out she didn't explain everything.
- Fangirl: A few fans think that she isn't literally gay for Yoruichi, she's just a huge fangirl. Either way, it's funny.
- Hair Decorations: The white ribbons she braids her hair with and the pair of gold rings at ends of them.
- Informed Ability: Sui-Feng excels at stealth and covert operations and states she has great pride in her ability to do her job as an assassin. However, the story focuses mainly on the Gotei 13 which means she isn't seen operating as an assassin. Her personality is also very flashy which means her tactics tend to make her a Highly Visible Ninja instead.
- Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality: Her Shikai has the ability has the ability to instantly kill any opponent that it hits in the same spot twice. Its only canon victim was one of Baraggan's Fraccion, Ggio Vega. When she tries to use it on Aizen, he simply No Sells it because of his much higher Reiatsu.
- Jerkass: Even with her stated policy of acting cold toward her subordinates to keep them sharp, she clearly just doesn't like Omaeda, verbally and physically assaulting him even when he's just trying to help her. And while she forgave Yoruichi for leaving her, she holds a grudge against Urahara and the Visoreds because Yoruichi left to save the former from false charges of Hollowfying the latter group, to the point of pretending she doesn't know Hachi and refusing to help him fight Baraggan until he promised to trap Urahara in a barrier for a month.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: "Kindhearted" is a bit of a stretch, but she's made her barracks cat-friendly and collects cat statues, certainly out of love for Yoruichi's cat form.
- Life-or-Limb Decision: When Baraggan's power pretty much trashed her arm, she had Omaeda cut it off. It's restored after the battle.
- Lightning Bruiser: She's fast and tiny and gives her opponents the initial impression that she's a Fragile Speedster. Although her speed is unmatched by nearly everyone, her real strength lies with her body's physical prowess, making her an almost unmatched unarmed fighter. She has been known to allow her body to be used as a punching bag and thrown through buildings just so she can assess her opponent's abilities, knowing that she can take anything that's thrown at her and still come out on top. Her mastery of the physical body has made her only the second known Soul Reaper to achieve "Shunkou", the ability to flood the body with Soul Power to dangerously push the body beyond its physical limits.
- Luminescent Blush: Whenever she is complimented by Yoruichi, Sui-Feng blushes intensely. When she meets Yoruichi's kid brother, Yūshirō Shihōin, she has the exact same reaction.
- Magic Enhancement: Hakuda trains a shinigami's body to the physical limit to become a weapon capable of extremely powerful unarmed combat. Sui-Feng discovered Shunkou, a technique that allows kidou to be driven into the arms and legs to boost the body's Hakuda performance beyond its physical limit. Soi Fon was stunned when she discovered she wasn't the first person to have discovered this technique.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: She dutifully follows orders of the Seretei never seeming to question if there's something off about them.
- Not So Stoic: Despite her often cold-hearted behavior toward her comrades, she is incredibly distraught when she's told that Byakuya and Kenpachi might not survive their injuries from the Vandenreich's first invasion while she's still coming to terms with Yamamoto's demise.
- Ninja: She is the leader of the special forces, an organisation made up of ninjas, and takes great pride in being one herself.
- Outnumbered Sibling: She had five older brothers, who each died in battle.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Sui-Feng isn't even 5 feet tall, yet she leads Soul Society's assassin squad, her Shikai can kill her opponent in two hits, and her Bankai is a highly destructive Arm Cannon.
- Power-Strain Blackout: Using her bankai drains so much of her reiatsu, that it usually takes her three days to recover before she can safely use it again. Forcing herself to use it twice in one day, mere moments after the first shot, made her lose consciousness.
- Professional Killer: She is the leader of the special forces, an organisation made up of ninjas. Their work is separate from that of the Gotei 13 military, and often classified.
- Short Hair with Tail: Two tails, in fact, and the contrasting (independent versus dramatic) personality to go with it.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Suì-Fēng" is the Mandarin Chinese Pinyin transliteration of her name, making her an Anime Chinese Girl. The Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese name is "Soifon" which led to a hell of a lot of confusion as to how the name should be translated until "Suì-Fēng" showed up in Japanese art books. "Soi Fong" was used at one point by the fandom, as well. "Sui-Feng" is used here just to make things easy to type.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She's cold and harsh around most people, but melts whenever she's in the presence of either Yoruichi or Yuushirou. She worships Yoruichi as a goddess and gushes over how much Yuushirou has grown, trying to give him pocket money despite being in the middle of a crisis situation. Lampshaded when Renji expresses shock over her kindness but Rukia points out she's always been kind.
- Touch of Death: Nigeki Kessatsu effectively amounts to this, as Sui-Feng can administer both stings faster than even the well trained eye can follow; making it so the victim only feels one... assuming the victim feels anything at all.
The slow and large cocky tough guy counterpart to Sui-Fon and her lieutenant. He comes from a rich family as well.
His Zanpakuto is Gegetsuburi, a large spiked flail.
- Big Brother Instinct: He'll do anything to protect his little sister Mareyo. He normally a coward, but when BG9 attacks her, he goes absolutely berserk.
- Butt-Monkey: Nobody takes him seriously. Ikkaku has openly stated no-one cares about him and during the Gotei 13 Invasion arc, his Reigai imposter took an appearance upgrade because he didn't even want to look like his original. Later on in the story, it's indicated that Omaeda does use this to his advantage in battle, but it doesn't change how his allies treat him.
- A Day in the Limelight: Episode 312 is an Omaeda focus episode where he pretends to be the Squad 2 captain.
- Gonk: There's an Art Shift with Oomaeda to emphasise that he's respected by no-one, little more than comic relief and fodder for enemies. It helps ram home Sui-Feng's frustration in having someone so incompetent as her side-kick. When he does become serious or sympathetic, and more badass, the artwork changes accordingly to give him the appearance of a large, heavyset, but normal-looking man.
- I Am Big Boned: When Nirgge (who's quite heavy himself) calls him fat, he claims that he's merely plump, which is a sign of his affluence as opposed to someone poor like Nirgge being fat for no reason.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: During the Fake Karakura Town battles, he reveals that he didn't get his position through family influence but rather genuinely earned it. He exaggerates his normal arrogant attitude to catch opponents off guard.
- Meaningful Name: "Omaeda" is phonetically cognate with a mildly rude way of saying "It's you!" And he receives about that much respect.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He uses an Upper-Class Twit persona to make people think he's in the Gotei due to family position while in fact, he's genuinely certified to be in his position. He really is stupid, but only when it comes to things other than combat, though.
- Overly Long Name: His full name is...* deep breath* ...Marechiyo Yoshiyamenosuke Nikkotaroemon Omaeda.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Oomaeda is very nearly the spitting image of both his mother and his father (as are all his siblings, with the sole exception of the youngest daughter).
- Trademark Favorite Food: He's introduced in the story, walking behind Soifon while he munches on crackers. He's said to be constantly eating them. During the Karakura Town battle, it's revealed that he's the only lieutenant who didn't know Yamamoto's plan. The others are quick to assume that the reason he had no idea was because he was too busy stuffing his face with rice crackers to listen, a belief Soifon encourages because she doesn't want to admit she actually forgot to tell him the plan. The anime plays this up much more than the manga does, inserting filler scenes of him eating crackers everywhere. Even his zanpakutou spirit gets annoyed by it.
- Undying Loyalty: To Sui-Feng. Despite being a Dirty Coward 95% of the time when push comes to shove he will put himself into danger if she's in trouble and after the Vandenreich invasion he showed disappointment that she didn't bring him along when she went off training.
- Upper-Class Twit: He loves to flaunt his status and gives the impression of being promoted entirely based on family prestige.
Father to Marechiyo and lieutenant to Yoruichi, Marenoshin retired from his position and fathered four children (two daughters; two sons), living in a luxurious lifestyle typical of aristocrats.
- All There in the Manual: Everything we know about him was revealed in the Masked databook and the novel 'Spirits Are Forever With You'.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In an after-episode segment and manga omake, we get our first glimpse of Marenoshin when Marechiyo introduced the Omaeda family to Ichigo and Rukia. In particular, Marenoshin now has darker and curlier brown hair, along with a pair of sunglasses, extra weight and tons of jewellery.
- Generation Xerox: The Omaeda clan makes its living out of being members of the Stealth Force. Marenoshin was the lieutenant to the same division as his son. They even share the same birthday, height, weight and fashion sense (right down to the same purple collar in their Shihakusho, but Marenoshin had curly brown as opposed to Marechiyo's black.
- Retired Badass: When Yoruichi was in charge of both the Covert Ops and the Second Division, Marenoshin was second-in-command; he was more highly ranked than even Urahara, who was ranked third. In 'Spirits Are Forever With You', he is still capable of threatening even a former Kenpachi just with his Kido alone, and the current captain of the Second Division and Covert Ops shows signs of being intimidated by him.
Squad 3's lieutenant. He graduated the Soul Reaper Academy along with Renji and Hinamori and was later assigned under Gin Ichimaru. After Ichimaru's betrayal, he occasionally joins Matsumoto in drinking sessions.
His Zanpakuto is Wabisuke, a strange L-hook-shaped katana with the sharp edge of the blade on the inside of the hook. It doubles the weight of anything it strikes and its peculiar shape makes it ideal for framing a person's neck to behead them.
- The Atoner: He blames himself for getting pawned by Aizen and attacking Momo, and tries to make up for it.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Once the reports come in from the patrols about the mysteriously dying Rukongai people, he quickly deduces the truth. They were killed by Soul Reapers and Mayuri knows why.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: You might see Rangiku and Shuuhei casually having a drink...and Izuru collapsed on the floor, foaming at the mouth.
- Character Development: Chronologically speaking, Kira started off as a friendly and somewhat cocky cadet in the Spiritual Arts Academy. Come present time, although pragmatic in combat, he's gloomy, introspective, worrisome and indecisive, which leads to several areas of conflict between himself and his friends. Once we see him in the Blood War arc, he's far less moody and a lot more analytical, making him appear generally more leader-like amongst the other lieutenants.
- Conflicting Loyalty: He was torn between his friendships and his loyalty to his captain. He ultimately chose to follow his captain, to the point of becoming bait over the Board to Death sequence. Once it turns out that Ichimaru was a traitor, Kira is understandably upset.
- Cyborg: When Kira is killed, a hole is blasted through his chest. Mayuri doesn't fix these injuries when he reanimates Kira, instead using cybernetic restructuring to enable Kira to function as a zombie that possesses a half-destroyed body.
- A Day in the Limelight: Roughly half of the New Captain filler arc was told from Kira's perspective. The short story 'Beginning of the revive of tomorrow' focusses on the consequences of his actions during Aizen's betrayal, his resurrection after Bazz-B killed him and his fight with Shaz Domino.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Following his captain's defection, he is often seen drinking. His main drinking partner is Rangiku, but she's not his only one.
- Fatal Flaw: Loyalty. He's so dedicated to his captain that it led to him turning on such friends as Hinamori and Matsumoto, leaving him so conflicted that he became prone to self-loathing whenever he felt remorse over challenging his friends.
- Gravity Master: His Zanpakuto doubles the weight of anything it hits, every time it hits — meaning, if he whacks a ball the weight of 2kg five times it weighs 64kg. This isn't limited to weapons; the gigantic wings of Abirama Redder were affected similarly, though he had to slash them repeatedly for it to kick in full.
- Martial Pacifist: He doesn't like fighting even when he has to, but while in a fight, he's cold and ruthless, because he believes that such tactics are necessary to discourage combat.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Calls himself a "monster" when he raises his sword against poor Momo.
- Oddly Shaped Sword: It has two right angles giving it a square hook shape. Lampshaded by Abirama Redder, who soon learns the hard way that it's the perfect shape for decapitation.
- Oh, Crap!: When he had Matsumoto beaten, she used Haineko to bypass Wabisuke's Gravity Master abilities, catching him off-guard (and resulting in his defeat). Some Red Shirts found him and helped him up... just in time to learn that Ichimaru was a traitor, which led to another Oh, Crap! from him.
- Parental Abandonment: Shizuka, his mother, and Kagekiyo, his father, both died when he was young, although it's unknown if they died before or after he joined the academy.
- Peek-a-Bangs: His hair covers a large part of his face, usually including one of his eyes.
- Perpetual Frowner: Though he was more happy as an academy student, by the time he shows up in the story he tends to be pretty humorless and depressed.
- Pose of Supplication: The concept is played with in regards to his zanpakutou's special abilities. Anything he hits it with gains weight until the person can no longer stand and are forced into this pose, where he will then use Wabisuke's odd form to behead them.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to either Shuhei or Renji, especially when he was a cadet (and much happier than in the present storyline). Subverted, however, when he and Hisagi have to deal with an emotional Yumichika. Hisagi takes the sensitive route of trying to talk down Yumichika. Kira doesn't bother and tranqs Yumichika into unconsciousness instead simply because he disapproves of the way a fifth seat was talking to a lieutenant.
- Smug Super: Back in the academy, he noted that Hisagi (his upperclassman) failed the entrance exam twice, and takes the time to brag how he passed at the top of his class and assumed that meant his talent was greater. He has since lost this type of confidence.
- Took Alevel In Badass: Being turned into a cyborg zombie by Mayuri Kurotsuchi increased Kira's strength.
- Torso with a View: Bazz-B shoots a Heilig Pfeil at him, destroying a large portion of the right side of Kira's abdomen and right arm. The next time Kira is seen on the battlefield, he is still missing a large portion of his torso, and he describes himself as a "dead man".
- Two Guys and a Girl: As a cadet in the Spiritual Arts Academy, Kira held this relationship between Renji Abarai and Momo Hinamori, although in a much more platonic portrayal than the typical example. Once things head into the Soul Society arc, all three end up into conflict with one another; Izuru tried to keep the peace while dutifully following his captain, who turned out to be a traitor, putting him directly at odds with Hinamori.
- The Undead: Kira is killed during the first invasion of the Quincy, blasted through the torso by Bazz-B's fiery heat attack. Mayuri, however, collects Kira's body and reanimates him as a zombie. He doesn't fix the injuries to Kira's body, leaving Kira with a giant hole in his torso. Instead, Mayuri compensates by making Kira a cyborg.
- Unwitting Pawn: Kira was sent by Ichimaru to the Central 46 Compound, where Hitsugaya and Matsumoto were trying to figure out the identity of the Central 46's assassin. Hitsugaya and Matsumoto immediately decide to follow him, but he claims that he only just arrived as well. He lets it slip that Hinamori escaped her jail-cell and had been following Hitsugaya the entire time. When Hitsugaya turns tail to find Hinamori, Matsumoto stays to confront Kira, who reveals that Ichimaru sent him there to draw Matsumoto away from Hitsugaya and Hinamori. However, Kira went along with his captain's wish only because Gin promised Hinamori wouldn't be harmed. He is horrified when Aizen attacks both Hinamori and Hitsugaya, leaving them for dead.
- War Is Hell: He's developed a strong belief in this, which stems either from his past experiences with Hollows (ala the Academy) and/or the death of both of his parents. This is in stark contrast to his opponent, Abirama Redder, who believes that War Is Glorious. Kira counters this by lecturing him over the realities of war, and demonstrates his point by using Wabisuke to behead Abirama.
- Warrior Poet: Likes to write Haiku. Though they aren't very good haiku.
- Generation Xerox: Her son made it his mission to become a lieutenant so he can please his mother, herself a long-serving lieutenant.
Unohana is the late gentle and motherly captain of the 4th Squad. She is one of the oldest Captains in the Gotei 13 and has been around since the beginning of the formation of the Gotei 13 as well as the most powerful despite leading a squad based entirely on healing. Because of this, she hides an extremely scary Battle Aura that makes even the most badass officers of the Gotei 13 go weak in the knees when imagining her wrath. This is even more evident whenever other squads start bullying her squad, whereas a slight glare is enough to send the bullies pissing their pants.
Being one of the senior captains, Unohana harbors great wisdom and perception, and prefers supporting from behind. In fact, she is the only one to notice that something amiss when Aizen 'died' and was able to catch up with him and correctly identify him as a traitor, which prompts him to reveal his trickery... and run off instead of taking her out.
Her zanpakuto and Bankai are both named Minazuki (肉雫唼 for Shikai, 皆尽 for Bankai). Her Shikai takes the form of a green manta ray that is able to hold wounded people in its stomach and heal them over time. Her Bankai has been shown to produce massive amounts of blood, but its powers remain unclear.
- Achey Scars: Her front-braided hair hides a nasty chest scar. Zaraki inflicted it on her when he was a child and it throbs whenever she hears his voice.
- Action Girl: The databooks revealed early on that she was a power fighter specialist and expert swordsman, contrasting heavily with her role as the medic usually in the back lines. She's the original Kenpachi and is brought forward by Kyoraku to help train Kenpachi Zaraki, who she proceeds to hand his ass to with minimal effort at the start of the training.
- Animal Motifs: The manta ray is both graceful and dangerous, and has been associated with both medicine and destruction in folklore. Unohana, considered the most beautiful woman in Soul Society, was the most dangerous killer of her generation, and the initial reason she mastered the art of healing was so that she could prolong her fights for as long as possible. Initially the founder of both the Kenpachi position and the Eleventh Division, she eventually came to define the role of the Fourth Division as a combat medical unit, becoming the Gotei 13's pre-eminent doctor.
- The Atoner: She once destroyed the potential of a child to develop into the greatest fighter and has regretted that moment ever since. The child was Zaraki who almost defeated her but sealed his power in terror at the thought of losing the first Worthy Opponent he had ever found. That moment was responsible for turning him into a warrior who holds back in battle to enjoy fighting.
- Ax-Crazy: When she finally lets her hair down to fight, she looks both creepy and crazy. She views herself as only one step removed from a psychotic criminal.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Acts nice but even slight annoyance on her eyes is said to scare the whole fight-happy Squad 11. Merely forgetting to mention her brings fear to even Shunsui and Ukitake, TWO senior captains. After her reveal as Yachiru Unohana, it makes a whole lot of sense.
- Blood Knight: She almost never fights, but when she does she certainly enjoys it. Kenpachi enjoys fights by doing his best to fight at his opponent's level, while Unohana keeps herself and her opponent alive whilst her grotesque Bankai dissolves the flesh from their bones to keep enjoying it that much longer.
- Bloody Murder: A colour omake about the squads trying to invent a computer game suggests Unohana views killing via manipulating blood. Her Bankai is a blade of blood that melts the flesh off of her enemies.
- Body Horror: Unohana's command of Kido is so great she can use that power to enable this to happen. Her Bankai appears to melt the flesh right off the bones, including hers. By using her healing Kido, she can keep the fight going for as long as possible without either party dying from the effects.
- Combat Medic: She's quite the accomplished swordsman but by preference sticks to support roles. When training Kenpachi, she combines the two by inflicting lethal wounds and then healing them with the implication that she's going to keep at it until he measures up.
- Combat Pragmatist: In a series where everyone typically calls out their flashy attacks and explains their abilities, Unohana immediately and effortlessly defeats Kenpachi with pure, merciless swordsmanship. She even lands a killing blow to his neck, only to revive him to continue his training. She also carries hidden weapons and views Kenpachi's conscious self limitations as extremely foolish.
- Covert Pervert: In the Beach Episode, Isane complains about being offered an extremely skimpy swimsuit. Unohana forces her to wear it, and Unohana's own swimsuit is just as skimpy.
- Creepy Good: Usually Played for Laughs, Captain Unohana is The Dreaded to everyone who threatens her ire. A smile from her sends chills down the spines of even the 11th Division. When she fights, she lets down her hair and transforms into Yachiru, a truly eerie, blood-powered Blood Knight who was the original Kenpachi of the 11th division.
- Deadly Doctor: She can use her medical knowledge in battle to maim in very effective ways. She's capable of delivering fatal blows to Zaraki and instantly heal them to ensure he keeps training until he reaches a level she's happy with.
- Death Glare: Inverted, she only smiles sweetly to anyone who annoys her while speaking in a very calm but firm tone. This actually makes it more unsettling to the people who know her and they quickly fall in line to avoid her wraith. Even Ichigo, during the one of the few times he interacted with her, found out quickly not to get on her bad side.
- Dissonant Serenity: When she fights, her tranquility is at odds with her violence. While fighting Kenpachi, she slices him apart without batting an eyelash and only raises her voice once.
- The Dreaded: A comedic example. This is the effect that she has on pretty much the whole of the Gotei 13. It has, as such, become somewhat of a Running Gag. Well, you can see her combat potential in the databooks from quite early on and her name does mean "violent." After finding out just what she was like, it's entirely justified.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Her hair is bound when she's healing and unbound when she's fighting. She plays the role of a Yamato Nadeshiko when not fighting, but becomes an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette when fighting. It's a deliberate change of persona on her part, she knows what images she portrays.
- Face Framed in Shadow: Once the decision is made to put Unohana on the battlefield, everything darkens into shadow, framing her face, making the decision seem very ominous. She was the first Kenpachi and the worst criminal in Soul Society history. Putting her on the battlefield, even for training others, brings that personality back out of her. Her face remains framed in shadow for much of the fight because she's simply that dangerous and that creepy.
- Four Is Death: The Fourth Division is the military healing squad giving it a "life and death" motif. As its captain, she leads the fight against death itself. She was also a former Kenpachi and the most dangerous criminal the Soul Society has ever had.
- Foreshadowing: For a captain in healing division, her parameter in Strenght is 100 (maximum). On par with Aizen, Yamamoto and Kenpachi
- Giant Flyer: Her Shikai makes Minazuki transform into a gigantic, flying manta for transportation.
- Hidden Depths: The databooks indicate she's primarily a sword fighter rather than healer. But they don't say she's an Ax-Crazy sociopathic Kenpachi underneath the polite veneer.
- Letting Her Hair Down: Inverted. You do not want to see Unohana with her hair down. Because when she does, very bad things happen. Just ask Zaraki.
- Lonely at the Top: She knows the pain of being unrivalled when at the top of her profession and unable to find any equal to compare her skill with. As the original Kenpachi, her swordsmanship was unrivalled. She wandered the Soul Society slaughtering criminals and trying to find a Worthy Opponent. Eventually she met her match in a young Zaraki.
- Mama Bear: Go on, bully her squadmates when she's around.
- Master Swordsman: The databooks state she is one, having fully mastered sword fighting. Also stated in the manga itself when it's explained she gave herself the name Yachiru as a result of having mastered all known sword styles.
- Meaningful Name: Retsu means violent in Japanese. Everyone fears her for one reason or another. She renamed herself Yachiru in the past as a symbol of having mastered all known sword fighting styles before returning to the name Retsu.
- The Medic: The captain of a whole squad of them. It's an ability she picked up in order to prolong fights.
- My Greatest Failure: She once met a child with great potential, but handled the situation badly and destroyed that child's development. They encountered each other at a time they both desperately wanted a Worthy Opponent. Zaraki was the stronger but was so afraid of losing his first enjoyable opponent that he unconsciously shackled his power. Unohana is deeply ashamed she handicapped him so badly.
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Her clone in the Invading Army arc lets one off when fighting the real Capt. Kurotsuchi.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: In-universe, Unohana appears to be, and is viewed as, the perfect example of the Yamato Nadeshiko. She has raven black hair that is always neatly bound, pale, flawless skin and carries herself with quiet grace and dignity. Word of God has confirmed she is Soul Society's most beautiful woman. When she lets down her hair to unleash her inner Ax-Crazy Blood Knight personality she transforms into an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette instead. Word of God indicated she was deliberately designed to display a shocking contrast between the two faces of her personality.
- Scars Are Forever: She hides a scar on her chest behind her front-plaited braid. It's the only scar she's ever received and it cannot be healed.
- Ship Tease:
- The anime has been known to tease her with Kyouraku in some omakes.
- In the manga, there's very unfunny tease with Zaraki. They're both Ax-Crazy sociopathic Kenpachi-class fighters and she privately admits that this means Zaraki is the only man who ever made her happy.
- Silk Hiding Steel: She's soft-spoken, kind, motherly. She's also got most of Soul Society terrified of getting on her bad side. Because the "Steel" she's hiding just happens to be the Steel of the First Kenpachi and Soul Society's most brutal criminal in the same time.
- In general, her character seems to be this trope taken to the extreme. A beautiful, perfect Yamato Nadeshiko hides a phycotic psychopomp that seems to be all Four Horsemen in one, with neither persona implied to not be the "real" Retsu.
- Slasher Smile: Once she lets her hair down she sports one of these while training Kenpachi.
- The Social Darwinist: An unusual example in that she is only this trope around a certain type of person. To fellow 'carnivores' like Zaraki, she is merciless, exacting, and never holds back. She demands they behave similarly, to the degree that she kills Zaraki because he isn't acting 'properly'.
- Stepford Smiler: As someone carrying a great shame from her past, she usually hides this under a sweet, approachable demeanour. It hides a psychotic woman who is the cause of Zaraki shackling his power in battle.
- Team Mom: She definitely invokes this trope with her squadron, whom she treats like her own children.
- Technically a Smile: She does look very cute, but she generally scares the life out of everyone when she does, especially if she's had to repeat herself.
- Warrior Poet: She spends some time monologuing about the philosophical differences that empower some people to survive where others don't, and ultimately dies because doing so is the only way to properly pass on her belief system.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Word of God says she's the most gorgeous woman in all Soul Society.
- Would Hurt a Child: She was surprised to find she could enjoy fighting a child. The child was Kenpachi Zaraki and he was already captain-class despite his young age.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: According to the Bootleg, she epitomizes the ideal Japanese woman. Seems like this trope can be put down as played with, as it is suggested she intentionally evokes it to distance herself from her Blood Knight past.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: People would rather take on Yamamoto's Bankai than anger her. Also notable even AIZEN wouldn't face her. Considering his Shikai's abilities, it says something. It eventually turns out she was the founder of Squad 11 and a criminal of unprecedented savagery.
Isane was the lieutenant of Squad 4 before being promoted to captain after Unohana's death and the older sister of her lieutenant and former Squad 13 third seat Kiyone Kotetsu. She is very conscious of her height.
Her Zanpakuto is Itegumo, with its current abilities unknown.
- Absolute Cleavage: The skimpy bikini Kiyone and Unohana force her to wear during the Beach Episode exposes her skin right down to her belly button.
- Adapted Out: Nowhere to be seen in the musical adaptations.
- All There in the Manual: Supplementary material reveals that she was in love with Unohana.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: At one point, she charges the escaping Sosuke Aizen and Gin Ichimaru.
- Bad Dreams: For some odd reason, she has nightmares over... fish paste.
- Combat Medic: Has no qualms about fighting despite her profession.
- Cry Cute:
- When Isane is upset, she will make it known via tears running down her cheeks, which stems from how she's more sensitive than either her captain or her sister. It's both endearing and hard to look at, and it's shown to make it clear that things have really turned dark. The first time occurred when she was at Unohana's office, standing by as her fellow Soul Reapers were slaughtered by the Stern Ritters. The only reason she chose not to take action was because Unohana told her to stay at the medical barracks, to keep Isane from getting herself killed.
- The second happened when Unohana gave her a letter prior to the fight with Zaraki. The exact contents aren't revealed, but it left Isane in tears as she clutched the letter to her chest.
- Expositoryhairstyle Change: After the last Time Skip, she's ditched the thin braids and has grown the rest to a bob. She's now the fourth division captain but neither looks nor acts the part, being too submissive. Her sister calls her out on it.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: She has long, thin hair braids with associated Hair Decorations on one side of her head only.
- Hidden Buxom: Underneath that shihakusho is a really large bust, which is fully revealed during the beach side-story when Unohana and Kiyone team up to force her to wear an extremely revealing swimsuit.
- Huge Schoolgirl: Shown to be a little sensitive about her height and cleavage in some of the omake.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Demonstrates this by charging Aizen and Gin, knowing full-well that either of them could probably kill her without even trying.
- The Medic: Well, Unohana is her mentor and leader, so she's bound to be pretty good herself.
- Mission Control: Sorta, since when Unohana confronts Aizen on his betrayal, Isane performs a spell that allows her to relay their talk to the rest of Soul society.
- Rank Up: When Unohana gives her life to train up Zaraki, the Fourth Division is left without a captain. The epilogue takes place ten years after the defeat of Yhwach, and reveals that Isane has replaced Unohana as Fourth Division Captain.
- Shrinking Violet: She's rather low-key, quiet and self-conscious, contrasting greatly with her more motherly, battle-loving captain.
- Statuesque Stunner: She's 187 cm tall, which is just under 6'2.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly girl to her little sister Kiyone, and sometimes to Rangiku.
Older brother of Hanataro and the former lieutenant to Unohana. Seinosuke was reputed to have a "bad character", but made up for it through his loyalty to Unohana. He is currently a medical advisor for noble families.
- All There in the Manual: His rank, his name, his height, his weight and his birthday, along with his design, were all shown in the Masked databook. His first actual appearance in the series outside a cameo is in the novel Can't Fear Your Own World.
- Big Brother Bully: He is Hanataro's older brother and likes to play cruel jokes on him.
- A Day in the Limelight: Appears as cameos at best in the main series or official art, but has a considerable presence in Can't Fear Your Own World. In particular, he tends to Hikone's wounds and has some awareness of Tokinada's plans.
- Dr. Jerk: He is a fantastical medic, but his personality is horrible. This attitude caused him to clash with Unohana and the rest of his squad numerous times. At first they could see past their differences, but eventually Unohana had to fire him. Seinosuke notes that Isane was partially chosen as his successor because her personality was different from his.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Before we even learned of his existence, he made a very brief appearance in Turn Back The Pendulum, standing behind Ginrei and Unohana during a meeting.
- Pet the Dog: May or may not be siding with Tokinada and is generally a jerk including to Hanatarou, but Seinosuke praises his improvement in healing and repeatedly warns him to take some time off while trouble is brewing in Can't Fear Your Own World which hints he's genuinely worried for his brother's safety.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Seinosuke has no qualms in making jabs at Kyouraku for his decision to make Unohana and Kenpachi fight to the death and thus resulting in a big loss for the Fourth Division.
A weak but dutiful 7th Seat, Hanataro met Rukia while she was imprisoned and they soon became friends. He later teamed up with Ichigo and Ganju Shiba as they headed to save her. He later gets promoted to Co-3rd seat.
His Zanpakuto is Hisagomaru, a katana that heals damage instead of dealing it when it cuts. Upon "absorbing" enough wounds, it transforms into a tiny scalpel capable of launching a single disproportionately powerful energy blast.
- Awesome, but Impractical: His zanpakutou release produces a massive attack, but he can only use it once and then he's forced to fight with a scalpel.
- Butt-Monkey: Squad 4 is typically bullied by other squads, but only Hanataro is also bullied by other Squad 4 members.
- Cowardly Lion: Though he is weak physically, when Ganju refused to risk himself for his brother's killer in the Soul Society arc Hanataro began to head out to hold off Byakuya Kuchiki all on his own.
- Crippling Overspecialization: He is very competent at healing, but his combat skills are lacking and he can't even use Shunpo. Even his sword is designed to absorb the injuries done to other people, healing them in the process. The energy absorbed by the sword can be fired in a single, powerful attack that reduces the sword to a scalpel until it can absorb more energy.
- Crossdresser: In Bleach: The Sealed Sword Frenzy he wears a women's fast food uniform, and in the 23rd closing he wears a maid's uniform. Given his embarrassed expression in both cases, it's likely he was forced to do it.
- Healing Shiv: His Zanpakuto is one in its sealed form. In fact, in order to actually release it, he has to do enough healing with it to fill up a gauge on the side of the blade. Upon release, it sends out a massive attack capable of nearly defeating a Gillian by itself.
- Human Shield: Ichigo and Ganju attempt this with him in order to escape Squad 11; subverted when their opponents reveal that they hate Squad 4 and would view his death as a bonus.
- Meaningful Name: His name is based on the Japanese version of John Doe and Jane Doe* , highlighting his status as a Butt-Monkey even within his squad.
- The Medic: During the Soul Society arc he follows Ganju and Ichigo around healing their injuries on occasion. Also, as a member of 4th Division this is his designated position.
- Non-Action Guy: His combat abilities are almost non-existent. At best, he can make one strong attack once his sword has the injuries of another person (healing them in the process). The only Kido he uses is healing; he never uses kido in combat.
- Rank Up: At the beginning of the story, he is the Seventh Seated Officer of the Fourth Division. During the time skip that occurs between the defeat of Aizen and appearance of Yhwach, he is promoted to co-Third Seated Officer.
- You Shall Not Pass!: Plans to face Byakuya, whom he knows he has no chance against, to give Ganju and Rukia the chance to escape. Subverted when Ganju trades places with him.
Lieutenant of Squad 5, and a childhood friend of Hitsugaya who apparently was raised with him. She's a sweet, determined, hard-working, enthusiastic and very popular girl.
Her zanpakuto Tobiume lets her launch fireballs. However, she mainly fights using complex Kido spells expertly woven together.
- Action Girl: In anime filler she tends to be given a much more active role and can be found fighting captains or hunting rebelling zanpakutou spirits.
- Badass Bookworm: The data books says she's an accomplished artist and loves to read. She also can hold her own in battle, as seen in Action Girl.
- Big Damn Heroes: Yes, she of all people pulls one by saving Matsumoto from three arrancar with her shikai, then creating a massive explosion using her kido abilities, although still not fully recovered from the deception of her captain.
- Break the Cutie: First her captain is murdered after a Friendship Moment with him, and then she attacks her allies in a blind rage convinced that they had something to do with it. Finally, said captain turns out to have been faking his death and stabs her despite having nothing to gain from doing so. After he has fully defected and left for Hueco Mundo, it turns out she has so much faith in him that she refuses to see him as the bad guy. When she finally gets her shit together and recognizes him for what he is, she ends up getting attacked by all her allies and stabbed by her oldest friend.
- Childhood Friend: With Hitsugaya. They were both raised by the same old woman whom they call "grandmother".
- Combat Pragmatist: Has no problem with laying a Kido net around the battlefield before appearing, then setting it on fire when the enemy gets caught in it.
- Death Glare: When she comes to the conclusion that Gin killed Aizen, the usually sweet and timid Momo shoots him a murderous glare and lunges at him while drawing her sword.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: She had Girlish Pigtails as a youngster and an Academy student, Odango Hair as a Lieutenant. After the Time Skip, she's switched to a bob with a cute hairpin. And after the second Time Skip, she's grown her hair longer and arranges it in a very ladylike sort-of bun.
- Heroic BSoD: Aizen's betrayal shattered her, especially after he manipulated her into turning her sword on Hitsugaya. Word of God has indicated the time-skip (specifically Shinji resuming his position as fifth squad captain) has been good for her.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Twice. Once by Aizen, who stated he had preferred to manipulate others into stabbing her for him, but freely did so when he decided that wouldn't happen. In the Arrancar arc, he got his wish when he manipulated Hitsugaya into stabbing her.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Light Feminine to Rangiku, due to Hinamori being girlier than the former.
- Like Brother and Sister: The Souls databook describes her relationship with Hitsugaya as "familial".
- Nice Girl: Spunkier, less willowy and shorter than the standard, but is still gentle and deeply devoted to her people. Unfortunately, this makes her easy to manipulate and causes her to snap during the Soul Society arc.
- Shipper on Deck: Momo thinks that a relationship between Renji and Rukia would be a good thing.
- Playing with Fire: Her zanpakutou power is to throw out explosive fireballs at the enemy.
- Two Guys and a Girl: She was a close friend to Renji and Izuru back in their academy days, to the point of becoming squad-mates under the tutelage of Captain Aizen (who recruited them straight out of the academy). This is where things turn more complicated — Momo was the only one who stayed in her original squad, whereas Kira and Abarai became lieutenants in different divisions. When Aizen is assassinated, a grief-stricken Momo immediately pegs Ichimaru as the killer and attacks him, forcing Kira to protect his captain. Both were stopped by Hitsugaya, who ordered them incarcerated.
- Unwitting Pawn: Aizen even lets Hitsugaya know that her admiration for him is precisely what made her such a good pawn. She never understood him.
- Weak, but Skilled: Momo knows she's got no super strength or raw power, but uses what she already has (more exactly, her high efficency with kido) in rather versatile combinations. Which she's also able to whip out VERY fast in the middle of the battlefield.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In both manga and anime, she calls out Byakuya Kuchiki over his treatment of Renji. Too bad he doesn't listen.
Captain of the 6th squad and Aloof Big Brother of Rukia. He's an all around stoic Bishōnen, whose stoicness is matched with his utter dedication to upholding the law and setting up a good example for the Kuchiki clan. Because of this, he rarely lets his true feelings show, which makes him initially appear callous, especially regarding Rukia, who he actually cherishes.
His zanpakuto is Senbonzakura, a sword that scatters into a thousand pieces resembling cherry petals that can instantly skewer his enemies. His Bankai is named Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, a highly flexible form which has many different forms and levels, that can be switched through depending on the situation. The most basic form is a more extensive and powerful version of his Shikai, manifesting as a thousand large swords from the ground which then scatter into millions of "petals"; by using a form called Gōken, he can organise the petals into a sphere that surrounds and engulfs an opponent from all sides, leaving no escape. The Bankai's true form, which concentrates the petals into thousands of swords that create a massive killing arena of floating swords that he can mentally control in bulk or summon one at a time to his hand. The most powerful form of his Bankai is Shukei : Hakuteiken, which condenses the Bankai into a single white sword and surrounds his body in a pure white aura that creates a halo over his head and flares out from his body like the wings of an angel.
- Achilles' Heel: He doesn't allow his shikai or bankai within an 85-centimeter radius of himself. If push comes to shove, however, he can and will violate this safety bubble at high risk of self-injury.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Senbonzakura's petal and sword forms are pink in the anime. They're actually white in the manga. Only the Hakuteikan power retains its original white colouring from manga to anime.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: After seeing the destruction the Vandenreich causes to Soul Society, he asks Ichigo, for the first time ever, to help Soul Society. At death's door, having been unable to protect Rukia, Renji or his squad, Byakuya begs Ichigo in tears to help the people he's failed to save.
- Aloof Big Brother: He does have deep feelings, but is trapped in so many honor codes that he can't show his love towards others as much as he'd like. When afflicted with mystically induced irrational fear, his breakdown occurs due to his thoughts focusing on a gruesomely dead Rukia.
- Antagonist Abilities: See Flying Weapon. During his brief time as an antagonist, Byakuya's zanpakutou ability was demonstrated as being extremely difficult to circumvent because of its ability to overwhelm an opponent from any angle. Even against Ichigo, the speed and multiple attack directions appeared to give him trouble... until Ichigo knocked them all down with rapid slashes, something Byakuya thought was impossible.
- Badass Baritone: In contrast to his girly appearance, his voice is actually quite deep.
- Bad Boss: During the Soul Society Arc only. After Renji is heavily wounded in battle against Ichigo, he attempts to throw him in jail without medical attention fully aware that he might die of blood loss.
- Be Careful What You Say: Thanks to his two conflicting vows, Byakuya learned this lesson the hard way when Rukia was given a sentence disproportionate to her crime.
- Big Brother Instinct: Once he does allow himself to show his love of his little sister Rukia, he will kill anybody who harms her.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Renji. He hid it behind a ruthless mask in the Soul Society arc, but their relationship is now much more relaxed thanks to Character Development.
- Big Fancy House: Byakuya's mansion is one of the most impressive residences in Soul Society. It's so impressive, the Society of Female Soul Reapers regularly attends secret meetings there, most of the time without Byakuya's knowledge, and always without his permission. Yachiru has built a series of hidden tunnels throughout the grounds to ensure they can come and go in secret.
- Bishounen: He's one of the prettiest captains in Soul Society, as voted for by the Soul Reaper's Women Institute itself.
- Blood Knight: Not only does he learn he's got this instinct, but he also learns he enjoys it.
- Bratty Half-Pint: When he was younger, he was mouthy, he was wild, and his temper was incredibly short.
- Came Back Strong: Was near-death when he was taken to the Royal Realm for healing. After soaking in the hot springs for four days and completing the Royal Realm Training, he took down three Stern Ritter with his Bankai, one of them being the Quincy who shot Kyoraku's eye out.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: When he tries to be funny it tends to either fail or scare people.
- Cherry Blossoms: Senbonzakura breaks down into thousands or millions of tiny blades that reflect the appearance of cherry blossom petals floating on the wind.
- Combat Pragmatist:
- Characterising his early appearances, a favourite opening tactic of his was "Senka", a technique which attacks the target's sources of spiritual power to strip them of their abilities completely and which more than qualified him for this. The last time he was seen using it, he used it as his closing attack against Zommari.
- When a wounded Gerard of the Vandenreich starts monologuing about how he's going to show several Gotei officers a "true miracle", Byakuya immediately orders Renji to finish him off. It doesn't work, but Byakuya was not interested in letting the enemy reach his full power.
- The Comically Serious: His stoic nature makes him an excellent straight man to characters like Yachiru in the omake. His unconsciously silly behavior can also be funny like with his omake obsession with the Seaweed Ambassador and his pride in his artwork... which is exactly like Rukia's. It works to his advantage when he jokes to Renji in a perfect deadpan that he uses Senbonzakura to cut his hair.
- Cultured Badass: Byakuya presents the air of a cultured and dignified noble and his clan apparently traditionally holds the squad 6 captain's role.
- Death By A Thousand Cuts: The end result of his shikai or bankai hitting a target.
- Defeat Means Friendship: He can fight it all he wants, but he can't escape the truth that his defeat by Ichigo is the last time they were enemies.
- Defrosting Ice King: After the Soul Society arc as a result of the conflict between his two vows being resolved.
- Fake Defector: In the Zanpakuto Tales anime arc, he pretended to join sides with Muramasa, but only because he wanted to kill Muramasa's master Kouga Kuchiki who had disgraced the Kuchiki clan's honour.
- Famed In-Story: The most famous captain of the current generation is Byakuya, even commoners in the Rukongai know who he is. Ginjou explains it's because his extremely high social rank combines with his extremely high military rank to make him far more well-known than any "normal" captain or high-ranking aristocrat would be by themselves. Byakuya himself once implies that this creates an enormous pressure on him to be the role-model that all Soul Society must look to.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Before the time-skip, he had a tendency to arrange his kenseikan in a way the ensured his hair was bound asymmetrically, flowing on the left side and held up on the right side.
- The Fettered: He has sworn to always follow the law after he broke family traditions twice, first marrying a commoner and then adopting her sister.
- Fingerless Gloves: He wears white gloves that leave his fingers and thumb free. While he's also a badass, the overall intention appears to be to make him look more dignified.
- Flechette Storm: When the sword is released, it shatters into many pieces (thousands in Shikai, millions in Bankai). The blades float in the air mirroring the image of cherry blossom petals on the wind. Controlled by either Byakuya's mind or gestures, the blades can be launched through the air to cut the target to ribbons.
- Flower Motif: Cherry Blossom symbolism is associated with aristocracy, samurai, and the transience of life. Byakuya is an aristocrat, military captain, and widower who likes to uphold the samurai ideal.
- Flying Weapon: What makes his Shikai and Bankai so dangerous is that there are countless tiny blades fluttering around the battlefield with the ability to cut you from any angle and get around any defense. What's more, even if he concentrates all of them into a sword, when in Senkei, he can summon a new sword at any point he chooses.
- Good Is Not Nice: Byakuya isn't a bad guy once he mellows out, but he can be pretty dickish nonetheless. The two can even be combined: During his fight with Zommari, he sneers that a Hollow can never hope to match him.
- Gray Eyes: He's the cold, strong willed type.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He suffered from this into his teens before learning control and discipline. He still shows flashes of it underneath all that self-control.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: He values Rukia and Renji much more than he reveals. Even after Soul Society, he does tend to be distant, but he is extremely angry at Zommari intending to kill her after she falls unconscious due to injuries from Aaroniero. Even in the Thousand-Year Blood War arc, he entrusts Renji to fight alongside him if his own Bankai fails.
- High-Pressure Blood: When he took the bullet for Rukia against Gin, his blood splatters everywhere, including across Rukia, before he collapses into Rukia's arms.
- Hot-Blooded: As a child, he was much more expressive and energetic. The signs are that it hasn't gone away, he's just learned to hide it better.
- Ignored Enemy: While in Hueco Mundo, both he and Kenpachi do this to Yammy because they claim they are more interested in fighting each other.
- Indy Ploy: Byakuya is not only surprised to learn he's capable of doing this, but that he even enjoys it. He's forced to use one to defeat Tsukishima since Tsukishima's power allows him to predict any traditional attack he'll make.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Acts pretty harsh, but actually values his sister, his lieutenant, and Ichigo quite highly.
- Kick the Dog: Orders Renji to be imprisoned and refuses to let him be treated after he loses to Ichigo.
- Knight Templar Big Brother:
- After Rukia graduated from the Shinigami Academy, he pulled strings to prevent her from being selected as a seated officer (despite later showing the ability to one-shot Gilliam class arrancar) because it meant she would receive less dangerous missions.
- When Byakuya asked Zommari if he was the one responsible for bringing Rukia to the verge of death, Zommari confirmed that he was not, but he was planning on taking her life. That's all Byakuya needed to hear to toss away any pretence of duty and destroy Zommari for even thinking about pointing a blade at his sister.
- Logical Weakness: He is not immune to being cut by his own petals, thus there is a "safe radius" which the petals never enter. By manipulating that knowledge, an opponent can either attack from within the safe radius or force Byakuya into leaving it.
- Loophole Abuse: What he does to get Renji and Rukia to go to Hueco Mundo, after Yamamoto declared that Ichigo shouldn't.
- Marry for Love: His marriage to Hisana was in defiance of his family because they were that in love.
- Meaningful Name: Part of his name means "white," and is often contrasted against the "black" Ichigo and the "red" Renji.
- Mr. Fanservice: His design is that of the classic black-haired bishounen, but even in-universe the Society of Female Soul Reapers keep voting him the sexiest male Soul Reaper.
- Not Quite Dead: He's left comatose by the Vandenreich's first invasion. It's revealed that Unohana won't be able to save him and that he's slowly dying. The Royal Guard, who possess an even more skilled healer than Unohana, intervene.
- Not So Stoic: It's a rare sight when he emotes, but when he does, it's a sight to behold. The manga also indicated that he has a very short temper beneath his stoic mask that he's learned how to hide but has never purged.
- Oh, Crap!: When a character as stoic as Byakuya has one of these moments, it's an all-hell-breaks-loose situation. When Ichigo's inner Hollow takes over, watching Ichigo and his Inner Hollow scream at each other while Ichigo fights for control briefly renders Byakuya speechless, panicked and incredibly confused. He also has one when he realises he's underestimated Tsukishima and when the Vandenreich steal his Bankai.
- Petal Power: Byakuya's zanpakutou releases by shattering the blade into thousands of microscopic blades. When the light reflects on a blade, it creates the illusion that there's a floating Cherry Blossom petal. His Bankai summons two thousand giant blades which promptly shatter into billions of these blades. This lowest level of his Bankai has the flexibility to form sword or dagger-shapes as necessary, allowing Byakuya to attack via the microscopic blades, a Flechette Storm or a Storm of Blades. At one point during his fight against Renji, he does all three at the same time.
- Pillars of Moral Character: The reason why he can't show his feelings as openly as he'd like to. It's also the reason why he starts off looking like a villain which develops into looking like a Type III anti-hero but which is eventually revealed to be this type of character instead. See main entry.
- Powers Do the Fighting: Until Ichigo starts overwhelming him with his speed, Byakuya never even made an effort to use his powers and allowed them to move independently. He later doubles the speed with his hands, and then concentrates them into actual swords to fight with.
- The Promise: Two of them and they were conflicting each other. Hanging around his neck (and Rukia's) like a noose until the were finally resolved by Ichigo. The vows still hold, it's simply the conflict between them that's been fixed.
- The Proud Elite: A noble and a Captain, and he comes across as cold and arrogant. However, he has a deeply engrained sense of honor and cares passionately for those few people who make their way into his heart.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Byakuya Kuchiki is one of the highest ranked noblemen in the story, and has the classic looks to go with it: perfectly groomed raven black hair and pale, flawless skin. The Soul Reaper Woman's Institute regularly votes him as the Mr. Fanservice of Soul Society.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the Blue to Renji's Red.
- Scarf Of Asskicking: Known as Ginpaku Kazahana no Uzuginu, made from a silver-white, windflower light silk, and a family heirloom. And it's VERY expensive. It's mentioned to be worth ten mansions in the Seireitei, which gives an idea as to how rich he is.
- So Proud of You: When Byakuya feels the extent of Rukia's shikai power after her training in the Royal Realm, Byakuya acknowledges her strength and power and turns his back on her fight to deliberately send a message to the enemy that he has no doubt that Rukia will win. When he witnesses her Bankai for the first time, he calls it "Splendid".
- The Stoic: Outward persona. His inner persona is surprisingly Hot-Blooded. His is still a Sugar-and-Ice Personality as a result - at least as an adult. As a child, he hadn't yet learned to control his temper.
- Storm of Blades: In Shikai or its lowest level of Bankai, Byakuya's sword forms a swirling mass of tiny blossom-like blades. Byakuya can create the form of tiny daggers or entire swords out of them, enabling him create a storm of blades whenever he likes. When the Bankai enters Senkei, it creates an arena of thousands of fully-formed swords. Although Byakuya promises not to fight Ichigo with any more than swords than his two hands can hold, when later faced with a Quincy opponent who can take on him, Zaraki and Hitsugaya at the same time, he unleashes the entire lot at Gerard's head.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Byakuya very strongly resembles his deceased father Soujun. The only difference between them is in the way they each wore their hair, and that Soujun's face usually had a much gentler expression.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Aloof and stoic on the surface. Underneath, he's Not So Stoic, being very compassionate, having very deep feelings for the people he becomes attached to.
- Taking the Bullet: When Gin extends his shikai to stab Rukia to death, Byakuya steps in front of her to take the hit. He collapses into Rukia's arms and Gin, rarely for him, stops smiling and looks unhappy with the outcome.
- Terrible Artist: Just like Rukia. Everybody comments that they must really be siblings for having such similar ideas about art.
- To Be Lawful or Good: This is a problem for him in the early arcs. He married Hisana despite the class difference between them and then adopted her sister, Rukia, to honor her last request but part of that deal was swearing to be lawful going forwards. So when Rukia's execution is ordered, he forces himself to comply despite how much he really doesn't want to. After Aizen's conspiracy is revealed he immediately defends Rukia.
- Took a Level in Badass: After he recovers from his defeat in the first Vandenreich invasion, he retrains his power. The Quincies he fights in the second invasion cannot believe he's the same guy that was defeated the first time round. As Nodt stole his Bankai and left him so close to death, the Royal Guard intervened to save and train him. He then fights five Quincies alone and thrashes three of them without taking a scratch, leaving the remaining two stunned.
- Tranquil Fury: Byakuya never visibly loses his temper, his level of focus simply changes to 'lethal'. When Byakuya arrives in Hueco Mundo, he finds Zommari standing over Rukia's unconscious body. He asks if Zommari's responsible for his sister's condition; Zommari isn't, but informs Byakuya that he was going to finish the job his dead colleague began. Byakuya's eyes narrow in response. In the ensuing fight, Byakuya's mood doesn't so much as twitch and he spends his time lecturing Zommari on every single move the Arrancar attempts and fails. Even when Byakuya disables his own arm and leg to counter Zommari's ability to control his body, he doesn't twitch, much to Zommari's amazement. When Zommari is finally defeated, he rants that Soul Reapers have no divine-mandated right to hunt Hollows. Byakuya calmly replies that he's not killing Zommari because he's a Soul Reaper, he's doing it because Zommari dared to point a sword at his sister.Zommari: What's that look? Are you telling me you won't show me mercy?! Are you going to cut me?! Are you going to execute me?! Don't you see how arrogant that is?! You Soul Reapers slay us as though we were vermin! Who do you think you are?! A god?! By what right do you slaughter us Hollows?! Is it because we devour humans?! Who made you their protectors?! No! No-one gave you that authority!! You Soul Reapers call us evil and slay us because you think you hold the power of justice in your hands!! But you're just...Byakuya: What makes you think I'm acting as a Soul Reaper? I'm going to slay you because you aimed your blade at my pride.
- Underestimating Badassery: Is surprisingly prone to this when it comes to humans, the first great example being Ichigo naturally when he acquired Bankai. The second example was when he fought Tsukishima, completely unprepared to find someone so dangerous in a mortal human.
- Undying Loyalty: Byakuya doesn't openly admit it, but the depth of gratitude he feels towards Ichigo for saving Rukia and helping him to resolve his conflicting vows means he is now completely loyal to Ichigo. When Byakuya is brainwashed into believing the person he is fighting is the beloved mentor that trained him and Senbonzakura how to fight, he still kills his opponent; if the person he confronts is an enemy of Ichigo, Byakuya will kill them - even if he loves them.
- Uptown Guy: Hisana was a commoner from one of the worst Rukongai districts while Byakuya was a noble from one of the four most powerful and highly ranked noble houses in Soul Society. The social inequality between them didn't bother Byakuya and Hisana, but the Kuchiki clan was appalled. Byakuya eventually won the fight to have Hisana as his wife, but she fell sick and died five years after they were married.
- Warrior Prince: Head of one of Soul Society's most revered noble clans and a textbook example of a Cultured Badass.
- "What Do They Fear?" Episode: Gets his own personal one in Chapter 501. Byakuya's greatest fear is seeing Rukia's dead, mouldering face. When confronted by this he breaks down and gets mauled.
- Years Too Early: To Ichigo in Episode 55 over whether or not Ichigo could beat him.
- You Have Failed Me: When Ichigo invades Soul Society, Renji abandons his position to confront him personally, and then loses. Byakuya commands that he be tossed into prison without first receiving vital medical care for his life-threatening wounds and then (according to Aizen) argues in a captain's meeting for Renji's demotion.
Introduced as a recently-promoted Lieutenant of Squad 6, former member of Squad 5 and former 6th Seat of the 11th Division. He is the childhood friend of Rukia and forms a very close friendship bond with her, also highly respecting the captain Byakuya and views him as an opponent he wishes to surpass. Brash, but dedicated to his beliefs and loyal to his friends. He is also notably the next Soul Reaper, after Rukia, who eventually considers Ichigo among his True Companions. While he poses a very genuine threat in the beginning, he's usually one of the characters used by Tite Kubo to establish enemy threat levels, thus fans often call him a jobber. Soon after his Defeat Means Friendship, Renji becomes more or less part of Ichigo's group of friends and an important main character.
His zanpakuto is Zabimaru, a large sword that can stretch and flail like a whip. When first introduced, his Bankai is called Hihio Zabimaru, a massive skeletal snake that fires energy blasts. Damaged in its very first battle, it is later reforged into Sōō Zabimaru, which manifests as a sword and gives him a mantle that is adorned with bones.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: In the Soul Society arc, being defeated by Ichigo makes him break down and beg Ichigo to rescue Rukia because he cannot.
- Anime Hair: For some unfathomable reason, his hair is style in a way that makes it look like a pineapple. This case is lampshaded, as a few of the filler episodes in which Renji is seen out of uniform have him wearing a T-shirt with the phrase "Red Pineapple" on it.
- Babies Ever After: The epilogue takes place ten years in the future just as Rukia is being promoted to captain. Straight after the ceremony, she and Renji head to the human world to join their friends in watching Sado fighting for Heavyweight boxing champion... and they bring along their daughter to meet the gang, who promptly gets into an argument with Ichigo's son.
- Bad with the Bone: Zabimaru's bankai takes the form of a giant spine and skulls, and is used to crush and stab.
- Barbarian Longhair: His long hair is kept in a ponytail, reminiscent of a Samurai Ponytail, but still wild and spiky past that. His behavior is barely controlled by the strict rules of the Gotei.
- Barefoot Poverty: While living in the poverty-stricken 78th district Renji, like other residents of the district, has no access to luxuries such as footwear.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the final arc, his timely arrival allows him to save two Soul Reapers from being killed by Mask. He actually saves Kensei and Rose from being killed.
- Blood Knight: Look at his character quote. He used to be a part of the 11th division. And it shows.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Mask's obsession with heroes versus villains allows Renji to parody this when they fight.
- Characterization Marches On: Renji is introduced acting almost gleefully villainous, putting Rukia in a forceful choke-hold and even attacking her with his sword with lethal intent, to the point of drawing blood. This is in stark contrast to his later characterization, especially in regards to his feelings toward Rukia and fighting women.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Renji and Rukia grew up in a Street Urchin gang and joined the Soul Reaper academy after all their other friends have died. They are torn apart when Byakuya adopts Rukia as his sister, taking her away from Renji and kicking off Renji's animosity for Byakuya. Renji spends forty years working hard to reach lieutenant rank, which will permit him to move in the same social circles as Rukia, and give him the strength to fight Byakuya. Although he fails to defeat Byakuya, he's eternally grateful to Ichigo for helping bring them back together and resolve his issues with Byakuya. During the final battle, Renji doesn't appreciate having to confess all this to Ichigo, the epilogue reveals that he and Rukia have had a daughter together, and a light novel is dedicated to his and Rukia's Japanese-themed wedding.
- Cool Shades: Except they get broken fairly early, and they're so expensive he's yet to be able to afford a new pair. Gets a new pair in the Vandereich arc.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: He spends the time-skip using the bar Aizen set as his resolve to get stronger, allowing him to finally begin to curbstomp his opponents in battle. He effortlessly defeats Jackie. Later, although initially thrashed by Mask, training with the Royal Guard allows him to return the favour once he fixes his broken Bankai.
- Defeat Means Friendship: After being beaten by Ichigo he became one of Ichigo's closest Soul Reaper friends.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: In bankai, he gains a mantle of fur that extends across his shoulders like a ruff and which extends down his right arm only.
- Fiery Red Head: Renji tends to feel a lot of his emotions quite strongly as well as cycle between them easily.
- Happily Married: With Rukia after the second time skip, they have a daughter named Ichika Abarai.
- Hot-Blooded: He's rash, emotional and aggressive, picking up a lot of the worse parts of the trope, though he matures a little as time goes on.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The Huge Guy (standing 188 cm or around 6'2") to Rukia's Tiny Girl (standing 144 cm or 4'9").
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He was a jerk in his first appearance, which saw him ordered by Soul Society to capture the AWOL Rukia. He was determined to kill Ichigo for "stealing" Rukia's powers. However, he was in a difficult position given that the law and his feelings were at odd with each other. He eventually concludes that his feelings matter more than the law but discovers he doesn't have the strength required to rescue Rukia. He is grateful to Ichigo for having the strength he lacks and softens considerably after the Soul Society arc has ended.
- Luminescent Blush: Whenever he gets to see something a little sexy — such as Matsumoto unbuttoning her shirt. That and whenever Rukia voices just how much she cares for him or how much she appreciates him as a friend.
- Magically Inept Fighter: While he can use some kido skills, Renji is noted to be rather poor at it and a physical fighter, although he can use it when he has to.
- Modesty Shorts: Renji's flashback to how he first met Rukia during their poverty-stricken Rukongai days, show that he used to wear a very short kosode. Under that kosode he wears a pair of skin-tight shorts that are so long in the leg they come lower down his body than the kosode does.
- Mr. Fanservice: Many a shirtless scenes feature him; one in particular has him with his hair down, with his tattoo-laden musculature revealed in full. Thanks!
- Official Couple: With Rukia.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: The only one allowed to beat Ichigo or Byakuya, or so he thought.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Tries one on Ichigo when he initially gains the advantage in their first fight, but Ichigo manages to get a slash in while he's talking.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the Red Oni, Byakuya's the Blue Oni.
- Reverse Shrapnel: Higa Zekkou, which he can only do when his sword is broken. In the filler, he can do it with his bankai, too, but it takes its toll on Zabimaru.
- Running Gag:
- His love of sunglasses, and inability to actually keep a pair intact.
- He is often called "freeloader" by Jinta during his stay at Urahara's Shop.
- Secret Keeper: He has known Ikkaku had bankai for quite some time.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Ishida and Kira.
- Shipper on Deck: In We Do Knot Always Love You, Renji encourages Ichigo to admit his feelings for Orihime.
- Ship Tease: Renji has a lot of these moments with Rukia. The two get married and have a daughter after the second timeskip.
- Slipknot Ponytail: His long red hair goes loose when seriously injured or beaten.
- Tattooed Crook: Goes hand in hand with his Delinquent-like attitude. Tattooed ALL OVER his body — to the point that some fans wonder up to where does the ink spread... Even his eyebrows are tattoos.
- Team Hand-Stack: After the heroes infiltrate Las Noches, Renji calls for a hand stack — something he never got the stoic captain of his squad to do.
- Took a Level in Badass: During the final arc, he is taken to the Royal Realm to receive training from the Zero Division and to reforge his Bankai. It boosts his power and abilities enormously, evolving his Bankai into a new form. This allows him to defeat Mask de Masculine, a Quincy that had previous defeated two captains.
- Two Guys and a Girl: He befriended Hinamori and Kira in the academy, but things turned sour once the present storyline made it to the Soul Society arc. Renji first attempts to act like a lieutenant should, but later decides to ignore his orders and target Ichigo right off the bat. His defeat actually prompts Yamamoto to order a full-scale pacification of Ichigo's friends, with Byakuya ordering Renji incarcerated for his failure (the conflict between Hinamori and Kira technically started with their disagreement over Byakuya's act here). After everything gets shot to hell for Kira and Hinamori, Renji decides to defect to Ichigo's side.
- Unusual Eyebrows: He has rather long, thick eyebrows and they're made to look even stranger with his tattooed forehead.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: To Rukia.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Ichigo may still bicker a lot but the two will always have each others back.
- Whip Sword: Zabimaru's shikai form is a six-sectioned sword that stretches in order to strike its opponents, and is noted to be Difficult Yet Awesome to use once mastered.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: He loathes fighting women, and will not pick a fight with one. If a woman forces a fight with him, he won't refuse but he will hold back as much as possible and try to defeat her using the minimum amount of force possible to achieve victory.
- Voiced by: Kinryū Arimoto (JP), JB Blanc (EN)
Father of Sojun, grandfather of Byakuya, and former 6th Division captain.
- A Day in the Limelight: He gets one in a filler arc where he witnesses, and indirectly causes, a son-in-law's FaceHeel Turn, the resolution of which eventually passes to Byakuya.
- Old Soldier: Was sort of shown to be this in flashback episodes of the filler Muramasa arc, only not nearly as much of one as Yamamoto when the two seal away a renegade member of the former's clan.
- The Stoic: Probably given how little reaction he had to Yoruichi pestering his grandson a century before the series began.
Son of Ginrei, father to Byakuya and the previous lieutenant of the 6th Division. Rumor has it that he was sick, but became a lieutenant out of a sense of duty. He was buried alongside his wife, and Byakuya swore an oath to uphold every one of the Soul Society's laws, in order to please his parents.
- All There in the Manual: His appearance, his height, his rank, his weight and his birthday were all found in the Masked databook.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Byakuya very strongly resembles his deceased father Soujun. The only difference between them is in the way they each wore their hair, and that Soujun's face usually had a much gentler expression.
He was the previous lieutenant to Byakuya, preceding Renji by an unknown number of years. He started up his own sunglasses shop as a part-time job during his time as a lieutenant, but he resigned from his position to run the store better, supposedly because he gained more of a profit from it. His daughter, Mihane, works as the 9th Seat of the same division, and she co-owns the store with her father. The Mens' Association get their sunglasses from Shirogane, as does Renji himself.
- All There in the Manual: The fact that he even exists. We still don't know what he looks like. He does, however, have a minor role in a post-manga novel.
- The Determinator: Shirogane once sent a pair of sunglasses to Byakuya, but his ex-captain sent them back, saying that he didn't want them. Shirogane doesn't seem to care; he keeps sending sunglasses to Byakuya, anyway.
- Nice Guy: Takes his ex-captain's indifference in stride, and even gave a discount to Renji, but it's subverted in the latter case. The prices of sunglasses are so high, that even with the discount, Renji still has problems getting the goggles that he wants.
Komamura is an anthropomorphic wolf and was the former captain of the 7th squad. Komamura is at first overly sensitive about his appearance which causes him to distance himself, until he meets Kaname Tousen, who is blind and doesn't mind his outer appearance. They became fast friends and enrolled and graduated in the Soul Reaper Academy together. Komamura is also indebted with Genryusai Yamamoto and vowed to dedicate his life for him with utmost loyalty. He constantly covers his body with gloves and his head with a mask, just so that his fellow officers do not ridicule his appearance, but eventually he abandons it. When Tousen betrays the Soul Society, Komamura swears to help him open his eyes to the fact that his betrayal is wrong. After using a Dangerous Forbidden Technique, he is regulated to a normal dog and unable to lead his division.
His Zanpakutou is Tenken, a large sword that is duplicated as a phantom-like form. His Bankai is Kokujō Tengen Myō'ō, an enormous armored giant that mimics his every move. When Komamura takes a human-like form, his Bankai removes its armor to become Kokujō Tengen Myō'ō: Dangai Jōe, a giant that is invulnerable to physical harm.
- Adapted Out: Has not been included in any of the musical theater adaptations.
- All for Nothing: Yamamoto's death drives Komamura to undergo the Human Metamorphosis, temporarily gaining more power and immortality at the cost of losing his humanity. After his fight with Bambietta, the timer runs out and Komamura transforms into a wolf without power or the ability to speak and is therefore unable to continue the quest to defeat Yamamoto's killer, Yhwach. With Yhwach's final fate to become the new Soul King and be protected by the Soul Reapers that had previously been trying to kill him, Komamura's sacrifice achieves none of the goals Komamura set for himself.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Why he wore a mask, and why he was so quick to form a friendship with Tousen. His shame in his appearance is the focal point of the friction between him and his great-grandfather, who scolds him for hiding it.
- Animal Motifs: Dogs. Physically, but also morally with his extremely loyalty.
- Armor Is Useless: Zig-zagged. He's the only Soul Reaper to wear armor and often uses it to block attacks on others. However, because he frequently suffers from The Worf Effect, enemies who are strong enough often easily destroy what armor he wears. He later gets a new set that's much more up to the task, able to defend him from Bambietta's explosions to an extent.
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- His bankai has signs of this. Tousen notes that it's primarily designed to kill in one hit, so issues arise when it doesn't. Particularly, damaging done to it is reflected on him, though anyone who is powerful enough to damage it could presumably damage him anyway. It just takes a single attack from Tousen to blast a huge hole in his Bankai to bring Komamura down.
- A Played for Laughs variant in the preview for 340. Iba grows concerned about Komamura's use of Bankai, as it could end up exhausting 7th Division's repair budget. Made worse by the fact that since Komamura's bankai draws the most attention, the other Divisions will blame 7th division for ALL of the damage caused by the battles with the reigai, causing Komamura to grow concerned as well.
- Beat Still, My Heart: Komamura will protect others, even if he has to rip out his own heart to do it. Ripping out his heart activates a special technique that brings Komamura to a human form, vastly increasing his power.
- The Big Guy: He's over nine feet tall and favors the brute force strategy of "Just smash the little bastard. Moving around is for chumps that can't take a hit."
- Big "SHUT UP!": Komamura gives one to the raging Soi Fong in the aftermath of the Vandenreich invasion and Commander Yamamoto's death, telling her that she is not the only one who wants to shout.
- Blind and the Beast: His friendship with Tousen is based on this. So of course Tousen just has to call him ugly upon gaining sight. And then he apologizes before dying.
- Carpet of Virility: Komamura has some pretty amazing chest hair. His human form retains the fur on his chest.
- Comically Missing the Point: Prone to this.
- In #298, his response to Ichigo saying that Iba doesn't fit the image of the main character is that he didn't think the suit was designed as well as he thought it could have been.
- In #326, he responds to Zaraki to not worry, and he's tough. The problem here was Zaraki was pissed that he interrupted his fight.
- In the JUMP festival omake, Komamura's response to Iba asking him for advice on how to make the cute cartoony drawing of him look mighty and powerful is to recommend he add "woof"/"ruff" next to it.
- Convenient Coma: He stays in one for almost the entire Zanpaktou filler arc after he gets TKOed by Tenken in the arc's first episode.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: He defeats Poww, the fraccion who defeated Ikkaku. He uses a single strike from his Bankai. The fight with Tousen reveals this is the purpose of his Bankai, to defeat enemies with a single strike.
- Cursed with Awesome: Tousen claimed the bond between Komamura and Tengen was a curse because damaging the zanpakutou automatically damages Komamura. Mayuri later confirms that while it's true this is a big weakness, it also allows Komamura's bankai to heal making him the one true exception to the rule that a bankai can never be restored to its original form once broken.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The secret of his clan is not something he's ever been allowed to know because it's literally both dangerous and forbidden. He has to rip out his heart to transform into human to gain great power and immortality. It's only temporary and the price is to transform him into a full canine animal with no power at all.
- Destructive Savior: The Karakura Town fight is supposed to occur in a fake town to avoid damaging the real town but the destruction Komamura causes when defeating Poww causes so much damage to both the fake zone and the real town, the watching Soul Reapers discuss how much this will cost Komamura after the battle is over.
- Dramatic Unmask: Loses his helmet saving Tousen's life when he tries blocking Kenpachi's sword with his arm bracers, but due to the force behind the blow the sword cuts into his helmet and breaks it apart. Later happens again when he shows up for a rematch with Bambietta wearing a new helmet that obscures his face. When it gets destroyed, it's revealed Komamura has become human in appearance.
- A Father to His Men: Cares immensely for his subordinates and often puts himself at risk to protect those are lower ranked and weaker than himself.
- Friend to All Children: During the Soul Reaper golden segment for Episode 83, it seemed he was about to let Yachiru draw on his face even though he just got his fur done.
- Furry Confusion: He is an anthropomorphic canine that owns a pet dog.
- Gentle Giant: Owns a pet dog named Gorou, takes them out for walk in his free time, and is one of the more amiable Captains when it comes to arranging his squad. He also likes watching pet shows whenever he can. According to Hitsugaya, he personally pays for any collateral damage he or his subordinates cause. Though in the Chapter 328 volume sketch, he's seen commenting that he'll only be able to feed his dog Goro okara (soy pulp) for the month due to all the damage he caused during his fight with Poww, as well as apologizing to him for it.
- Hypocrisy Nod: In a Call-Back to Tousen, after Yamamoto dies Komamura becomes absolutely determined to avenge him at all costs and sacrifices himself to do so, gaining a brief powerup and in return becoming a wolf after the power fades, lamenting only that even as he was consumed by the thirst for vengeance that marks his clan, it didn't last him long enough to even get to Yhwach, let alone beat him.
- I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: When Iba lectures Ikkaku on hiding his bankai and the pair realise Komamura is standing right there, Komamura's response is to say his ears aren't working well enough to have overheard anything and walks off.
- Implacable Man: He's a hulking, nigh-unmovable mass of fur and muscle against most people. This is best demonstrated during his battle with Sui-Feng's clone, where pretty much just overpowers her with brute force (until she activates Shunko). In his human form, though, this goes to ridiculous lengths; he can withstand an explosion to the chest and barely flinch, and his bankai is pretty much indestructible.
- I Owe You My Life: His source of devotion with Yamamoto. Ichigo's intervention against Aizen also prevents Komamura going into a suicidal charge to avenge Tousen. He thanks Ichigo for it.
- Ironic Echo: He warns Tousen against revenge, and ironically he falls victim to it himself after Yamamoto's death.
- Large and in Charge: Komamura is massive and one of the most physically powerful captains, matched perhaps only by the likes of Kenpachi.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Komamura's people are forced to live with a curse that locks them into animal form as punishment for their past ignorance. Trapped in a cycle of vengeance, the werewolves cannot throw off their curse and regain their former glory. Komamura spends the story trying to walk an honourable path and mourns his friend Tousen's descent into vengeance and how that vengeance ends up destroying the good man Tousen could have been. During the final arc, The Soul Reapers are faced with a threat that even the captains aren't strong enough to face. Komamura returns to his clan to seek a forbidden technique that temporarily allows him to regain his true humanoid form, and with it his true power. While it allows him to defeat his Quincy opponent, the price of power is to drag him down into the very cycle of vengeance he once tried to save Tousen from. Acknowledging his desire to avenge the fallen Yamamoto has been his undoing is his last intelligent thought before he succumbs forever to the mind of an ordinary wolf.
- Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Despite his initial fears, nobody seems to care that he's a giant canine.
- Little Bit Beastly: Furry ears, heavy eyebrows, mutton chops and body fur. That's his human form, which displays classic werewolf traits.
- Meaningful Name: His name translates to "The dog who guards the left flank of the hamlet." The left side is a particular significance to pre-industrial Japan as it would guard the lord's blind side. So when Lords would meet with their two bodyguards, the more trusted of the two would be to the left.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: His clan's "secret technique", which makes him virtually unkillable as long as he's in human form. His body can still be damaged, and his heart needs to be kept safe, but he's technically an implacable walking corpse. His bankai is even worse — in its second form, it's pure reiatsu with no life energy, meaning it can't be damaged at all.
- No-Sell: Pulls this on Bambietta by means outlined above: her explosions have no effect on his new Bankai.
- Not So Different: Komamura based his friendship with Tousen on the belief that their hearts were similar enough for him to be able to guide Tousen back to a better path. Later, he falls victim to his desires for revenge just like Tousen. Instead of dying, Sajin loses his humanity. He acknowledges the irony as he begins to lose his human thoughts.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: His bankai is a giant Samurai, without a doubt one of the biggest if not the biggest bankai in the series.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: He's a humanoid wolf and sticks out like a sore thumb among the human members of the cast, so he used to hide his face with armor. Turns out that he and the rest of his clan once possessed a human form but being banished to the Animal Realm trapped them in their animal form. A special technique allows them to temporarily regain human form, as shown in Chapter 556, though the costs of doing so are implied to be high.
- Puppet Gun: Komamura's shikai summons disembodied gigantic limbs with the same movements as him, mostly a giant hand wielding a sword. His bankai brings forth the entire giant, which also follows his movements to devastating effect.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Even Komamura can make the mistake of not weighing victory against the price of achieving it. He destroys his humanity to defeat Bambietta, ending up trapped in true wolf form, unable to function as a Soul Reaper, his only future that of a vengeance-driven beast.
- Real Men Wear Pink: He likes... watching cute puppy dog shows?!
- Revenge Before Reason: The destruction the Vandenreich invasion inflicts causes Komamura to enter this state. After cutting down Bambietta, Komamura prepares to storm the Vandenreich's fortress and take on Yhwach by himself to avenge Yamamoto.
- Rule of Symbolism: Kokujō Tengen Myō'ō is inspired by Fudou Myou-ou, a divine being who brings enlightenment to those lost to hatred, vengeance and ignorance. The Bankai's samurai armour reflects Komamura's samurai code, a form of "invincibility" gained through living as if already dead. The ignorance of Revenge Before Reason banishes his clan to the Animal Realm. When Komamura embraces it, his temporary invincibility leads to permanent transformation into an animal, i.e., the person who most needs Fudō Myō'ō's guidance is Komamura himself.
- Running Gag: He's a wolf but characters in-universe always mistake him for a dog. The author and anime therefore associate him with dogs in constantly humorous ways.
- Secret Keeper: Seemingly overhears Tetsuzaemon and Ikkaku talking about the latter's Bankai but assures them that his "ears haven't been working well."
- Speaks Fluent Animal: He can talk to dogs.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Komamura is an anthropomorphic wolf and his golden eyes reflect his supernatural, animalistic nature.
- Undying Loyalty: Because Yamamoto saved his life at one point, he has utmost respect and devotion to the man.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When he first appeared in the story, he had been wearing a mask to conceal his true nature. After it got cut off during the Soul Society arc, he decides to go around without it. According to the databooks, barely anyone gives a damn.
- The Worf Effect: When Aizen was first revealed as the enemy, Komamura was used to established that Aizen's threat level was far beyond that of even a captain's. He also suffers this in the Zanpakutou Unknown Tales filler arc, being taken out by his zanpakutou spirit in the arc's first episode, then spends the rest of the arc in a coma because of it.
The former lieutenant to Captain Komamura, the former mentor to Ikkaku, and current captain of squad 7. With the style of a Yakuza member, he joined the 11th Division as the 4th Seat under Zaraki, but transferred to the 7th Division in order to become a lieutenant. After Komamura forced retirement, he is later promoted to captain. He is the stereotypical macho-man, believing that men have to be strong and courageous. He is president of the Soul Reaper Men's Association. His mother, Chikane Iba, was the lieutenant of the 3rd Division under Otoribashi; he calls her a bitch-hag.
- Big Fancy Sword: His unnamed shikai takes the form of a large falchion with a spike protruding from it.
- Blood Knight: He used to be in the eleventh division and still duels Ikkaku from time to time. He only transferred out in order to become a lieutenant.
- Butt-Monkey: The Soul Reaper Men's association frequently gets its budget cut and forced out of the meeting spaces it has.
- Combat Pragmatist: Believes that the most important thing when fighting for one's division is winning, even if it involves running away or taking an opponent from behind.
- Cool Shades: Wears a pair of big black sunglasses.
- Foil: To Ikkaku. Ikkaku would rather die than risk exposing his own bankai to others (thereby risking being forced to captain another division) and enjoys a good fight above all else. Iba chose to develop his kido and leave the 11th Division to become a lieutenant and please his mom, and is willing to run away or use underhanded tactics to carry out his orders.
- Master of None: Is supposedly well-rounded, but the manga hasn't actually properly let us see him fight to judge for ourselves.
- Rank Up: Komamura sacrifices his state of being with a secret technique to defeat Bambietta. This reduces him to the form of a wolf, leaving him unable to captain the Seventh Division. The epilogue takes place ten years after the defeat of Yhwach and reveals that Iba has replaced Komamura as captain. Iba doesn't believe he deserves it yet, however.
- Secret Keeper: Regarding Ikkaku's bankai.
- Smoking Is Cool: He's usually seen smoking.
- Undying Loyalty: He's very proud to serve as Komamura's second. When Komamura completely loses his powers after fighting and defeating Bambietta, Iba carries his captain on his back and promises to help him keep fighting to avenge Yamamoto.
- Unrequited Love: The anime doesn't touch on it but it's All There in the Manual. Hisagi's not the only one with a crush on Rangiku Matsumoto. Iba's carrying a torch as well.
- The Un-Reveal: For the entirety of the manga, and even the light novels afterwards (which serve to answer numerous things that never got revealed during the series proper), the abilities of Iba's zanpakutou are never disclosed.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Delivers a rather scathing one to Ikkaku, when his stubborn refusal to use his bankai results in an important pillar getting destroyed.
Father to Sentaro and lieutenant to Love Aikawa, he received a scar sometime after Urahara was promoted, but it's unknown if he was killed in action or retired from service, and we don't know what his current status happens to be. He also has a ponytail, reminiscent of an old-school Samurai.
- All There in the Manual: Everything known about him was revealed in the Masked databook.
- Cool Old Guy: Appears to be in his late-forties, by the time he was Loves' lieutenant.
- Cool Shades: Frameless red sunglasses, specifically.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: One runs along the left side of his face, from his forehead, through his eye and to his cheek.