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Characters / Bleach Zero Squad

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


Contains unmarked spoilers

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    The Soul King 

The Soul King

Although he is called 'Soul King', he does not rule Soul Society, being described as a figurehead that is isolated away in the Royal Realm while the Central 46 gets on with the business of governing Soul Society. His purpose is to regulate the flow of souls to keep all worlds separate, stable and balanced. He provides the Royal Guard with a special Ōken that allows them to both enter the Royal Realm and to give others permission to enter.

  • Ambiguous Situation: The last we saw of him, he was effectively absorbed by Yhwach entirely. Upon doing so, Soul Society started falling apart. When Yhwach died, that also means that the King died, yet the Soul Society was in one piece meaning he somehow survived. But how...and where? The novel Bleach: We Do Knot Always Love You reveals that he indeed died and that Yhwach's corpse is his replacement, but questions if he was alive in the first place and what his more and more antagonistic looking relationship with the Shinigami was.
  • And I Must Scream: The Soul Reapers sealed him away a million years ago to create the current Soul Society. The Soul King was deprived of his body parts and his power and is implied to be nothing more than a living corpse that has been unable to scream for a million years. He remains sentient but his will no longer exists. Only in death is he able to act in a limited manner through his sacrificed limbs. With the sole exception of Ichibee, those who see him are horrified at his state of existence; Aizen even refers to him as a "thing". His fate is so horrible that Soul Reapers who learn the truth are disgusted; some of the most villainous characters, such as Aizen and Yhwach in the manga, or Tokinada in the novels, are partially motivated by the truth of how the Soul King came to be in this state.
  • Animate Body Parts: Eons ago, his right arm fell into the Rukongai and became an entity called Mimihagi-sama by the people residing in the 76th Eastern Rukongai District. His left arm became a servant of Yhwach, both opposing the Soul King and objecting to being called the "Left Arm of the Soul King".
  • Barrier Maiden: Rare male version; he is the lynchpin of existence. If he dies, Soul Society, Hueco Mundo, the World of the Living, and everything else, will fade into oblivion. Existence will then revert to what it was before the Soul King was created; a mass of chaotic souls travelling in and out of an unstable Soul Society, but also a place without death where all worlds have become one.
  • Casting a Shadow: After his seals were broken the powers of the Soul King manifest as torrents of dark shadows that eventually form into shadowy creatures.
  • Creating Life: The powers of the Soul King are so immense that they create countless cyclope-esque creatures made of darkness. And that is without getting into his body parts being seemingly sentient or that Yhwach refers to him as his father.
  • Crystal Prison: He is fully contained inside a barrier that looks like crystal. The crystal appears to be bound to walls and ceiling inside the Soul Palace which even the Royal Guard cannot freely visit, and he is attended by servants with bound eyes. The crystal prison serves as a seal both to keep him alive and to keep his powers locked away. Destroying the crystal not only kills him, but also sets him free, the same crystal prison is imprisoning Yhwach once he Ichibee makes him the new Soul King.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: When he first appeared, everything other than his face is kept in silhouette, but one can clearly make out intact limbs. Later on, all his limbs are gone, with at least his arms known to have been living independent lives.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Who and what he was before he was transformed into the Soul King is unknown, but Yhwach refers to him as his father and is very angry at what was done to him. It is implied that the Soul King is a construct that was created out of dead beings to control the boundaries that keep all the different worlds separated from each other. If he had a name before he became the Soul King, it's never stated. He is simply known as the Soul King and the "lynchpin between worlds", and nothing else. The novel 'Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World' implies that Ichibee took away his name, as the same thing happened with Yhwach after he becomes the Soul King.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: His eyes are dark with a strange saltire cross-shape in the centre. They are either black with cross-shaped pupils or four pupils arranged to leave a white cross-shape as a side-effect of the diamond-shaped pattern they form.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: He is sliced in half in a way that makes it look like he and the barrier are part of some kind of odd crystal formation.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Soul King may look human, but is supposed to be an actual god with some connection to the Quincy. Both of his arms split off from the body ages ago and are perfectly capable of functioning independently, and even his heart has gained independence. Yhwach, a Physical God with the ability to see and change the future, claims to be his son, but how literally this claim should be taken is up for debate.
  • Meaningful Name: His title "Reio" can mean either Soul or Zero King. Fitting for a supposed powerless entity sealed inside a crystal prison and deprived of his body parts.
  • My Death Is Only The Beginning: Downplayed but Ichigo killing the Soul King was what released him from his seals and unleashed his powers upon his enemies. Yhwach was concerned enough about a possibile interference from the Soul King that he decided to absorb his corpse.
  • Organ Autonomy: The Soul King's body parts can function fully independently from the Soul King. His right arm wandered through Soul Society in ancient times being worshipped as a god. His left arm has served Yhwach for an unspecified amount of time, serving as an elite Quincy and his heart is rumored to have done the same. In battle, when a finger of the left arm is blown off, the finger continues to act as a smaller version of the left arm, including possessing the same abilities.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: According to Haschwalth the Soul King was once sealed by the Soul Reapers. Ichigo killing him is what undoes said seals and unleashes his powers upon his enemies.
  • Seers: Yhwach claims that Quincies with special, inhuman eyes are 'true Quincies', and these Quincies usually have unique abilities. Yhwach himself can split the pupils of his eyes so that he has three pupils in each eye, and he possesses the power to see the future. The Soul King's eyes either have pupils in the shape of a saltire cross or four pupils that create a sclera that is in the shape of a saltire cross. Yhwach states the Soul King is far better at seeing into the future than even he is.
  • Time Abyss: Soul Society was created through his imprisonment, which happened around a million years, making him even older.
  • Was Once a Man: Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World implies that he was human at some point — and a primordial Quincy at that — before Soul Society enacted its "original sin" upon him and turned him into what he is now.
  • Who Needs Their Whole Body?: The entity that Yhwach stabs begins as something that looks human, but ends up looking like a limbless person. The right arm has been travelling around the Rukongai for aeons. The left arm has been serving Yhwach for an unspecified length of time. Both arms are motile, and possess their own identities and abilities. Additionally, the King appears to have no actual heart since it has taken a life of its own in the form of Gerard Valkyrie for an unknown period of time.
  • Wild Card: The Soul King is initially introduced as the ceremonial head of Soul Reaper society, a figure-head who plays no role in governance. However, Aizen views the Soul King as an abomination and it's initially revealed to be a humanoid form encased in crystal that has some kind of intense interest in Ichigo. By the time Yhwach reaches the Soul King, it has mysteriously lost its limbs, who are revealed to have their own personalities, powers and desires. The sentient limbs are oddly said to have been separate from the Soul King for thousands of years, even though the limb loss only occurs between Ichigo's first arrival in the Royal Realm and Yhwach's. The Soul King is revealed to have been created by the Soul Reapers to control the barriers and soul movements between worlds and Yhwach believes that means the Soul King should hate Soul Reapers. While the Soul Reaper's left arm and heart join the Quincies' side, the Right Arm protects the Soul Reapers and the barriers between worlds. Yhwach is left mystified as to why this would be the case. After his death Haschwalth tells the Schutzstaffel that the enemy of the Soul King are actually the Soul Reapers. Once his powers have been unsealed, he indeed does ignore the Quincy and instead attacks Soul Society.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change: Yhwach power is to not simply see the future but to transform it however he wants. He claims that the Soul King's ability is far superior to his own, and that the Soul King can see future events that even Yhwach can't.

    Ichibee Hyōsube

The Commander of the Royal Guard, known as the "Eyeball Monk". A large, bald man with bushy eyebrows and black beard. On his neck, he wears large set of red prayer beads. He's a loud and upfront man who nonetheless smiles a lot. He gave everything in Soul Society its name, including the terms "zanpakuto", "shikai", and "bankai". He also automatically knows the true name of all zanpakuto from the moment they are forged.

His Zanpakuto is Ichimonji, a giant brush with the power to cut words, essentially cutting anything into its base half (cutting an "arm" reduces it into an "ar", leaving it with only half of its strength). When Ichibee activates the Shikai, the tip turns into a blade that scatters black ink, erasing the names of whatever the ink stains. He refers to Bankai as Shinuchi, citing that as the original word before Bankai replaced it, and his is called Shirafude Ichimonji. It is a giant white brush with the power to rename targets that have been affected by the Shikai. Targets renamed as a black ant, for example, will only have the abilities of a black ant. Ichimonji is also able to control black to launch very powerful attacks.

  • Ambiguously Evil: It is heavily implied that his jovial demeanor is nothing more than a facade to veil his hidden darkness, and it is strongly implied that he is heavily involved with the 'original sin' of Soul Society. Ichibee further planned to sacrifice Ichigo to make him the next Soul King, who is the only reason Ichibee survived Yhwach's invasion. Even Kyouraku, a man of questionable morality himself, admits he's relieved that they didn't need to proceed with this plan; Ichibee's response is to joke that he would have missed talking to Ichigo, indicating he didn't care either way, and during his fight with Yhwach, all his levity and kindness slips to reveal a very dangerous, vicious persona.
  • Arch-Enemy: Ichibee attempts to connect himself and Yhwach, as they're respectively the Soul Reaper and Quincy leaders, and have clashed in the distant past. He suggests that Yhwach loathes him and refers to Yhwach as a trouble-making brat who never grew up. While Yhwach chooses to confront Ichibee personally, he doesn't express any personal enmity; he instead has enough respect for Ichibee's "wisdom" to categorise him as one of the Five War Potentials, and has instead implied his true nemesis was Yamamoto.
  • Art Initiates Life: He uses a giant brush to paint kanji, causing the word to manifest in reality. For example, "hidden" cloaks anything it's painted on in a way that makes it extremely difficult to detect anything's been hidden at all. Anything he "cuts" with his brush is also figuratively cut in half; power, speed, reaction, even the name is split into two. While Yhwach quickly recovers with his extreme assimilation powers, Ichibee mutters that "half" is just an arbitrary setting and that he can crush him at full strength if he wants.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He refers to himself as the leader of all Soul Reapers after tossing Yhwach around with his brush's powers.
  • Badass Beard: He has a massive beard and is the manly man of the group design-wise. He proves that a huge mane of facial hair equals massive power, as he sends Yhwach flying away more than once.
  • Bald of Awesome: The leader of the Royal Guard, and consequently all Soul Reapers, doesn't have a speck of hair on his head.
  • Berserk Button: Do not use his name casually. Doing so causes you to lose your voice...literally.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Extremely jovial and affable, Ichibee is still the Royal Guard's commander, and beats Yhwach around with the same serenity. When he stops playing nice with Yhwach and declares he has to kill him, the latter notices that Ichibee's mood is much more sinister.
  • Casting a Shadow: His power is "blackness" - all the darkness of the world is under his control and anything that has even a little blackness within it comes under his power. Anything his ink covers loses both their name and power.
  • Creepy Good: As the leader of the Soul Reapers and in charge of protecting the Soul King, he's supposed to be a protagonist. However, he enjoys the prospect of killing Yhwach, clearly loves the violence of battle, and possesses power over all the darkness of the world, including the darkness that lies within all living, and deceased, things, to the point where the darkness is subtly equated with the blackness of evil.
  • Desecrating the Dead: He has no problems with parading Yhwach's corpse to the Soul Palace and using it as the new lynchpin that maintains the boundaries between worlds.
  • Didn't See That Coming: He was completely unprepared for Yhwach's "The Almighty" ability and is destroyed immediately by it, despite being in control for the entire battle. Also, he completely expected Ichigo to lose against Yhwach and was actually surprised that he prevailed.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: He stupidly explained his powers to Yhwach in their actual battle, which naturally backfires when the Quincy monarch reveals he is able to completely counter a foe's power once he understands it.
  • Hate Sink: The post-war novels manage to turn him into one. He and the fathers of Soul Society committed a great sin a million years ago, which resulted in about 99% of all problems that happened in series from the millennia long Shinigami-Quincy conflict to the decadence of the nobility in Soul Society. Even though the fathers of Soul Society are long gone, Ichibee continues to carry on their will into the present. As such Ichibee becomes the whole embodiment of Soul Society's original sin and why Soul Society is such a Crapsack World. So far everyone who finds out even just a small part of the truth is absolutely disgusted, be it Shinigami, Quincy or Arrancar and as more and more is revealed, the more horrible his actions become. Even Tokinada, the Big Bad of the novels, a self-admitted vile creature and another Hate Sink by itself, is repulsed and somehow manages to come off as more sympathetic, even if just by a little bit. If something horrible is revealed in the novels and it's not Tokinada's fault, then it will be connected to Ichibee and the fathers of Soul Society.
  • I Know Your True Name: He is the one that names everything in Soul Society, including all zanpakuto and their Shikai and Bankai forms. He loathes having his own name casually used, so everyone calls him "Monk" except for Yhwach. His weapon is his giant calligraphy brush which he wields like a sword. When he strikes something with his brush, he is not cutting the physical target, he's actually cutting its name, instead. The act of cutting the name in half, either breaks what is named or reduces its power by half. When he strikes Yhwach's arm, he cuts the word "arm" in half, breaking Yhwach's arm and reducing Yhwach's spiritual power by half in the process. He can also rewrite a subject's name; by changing Yhwach's name to "black ant", he became as weak as an ant.
  • In-Series Nickname: Most people call him Osho (meaning "High Priest" or "Monk") rather than his real name. That's because saying his name literally causes you to lose your voice. When Yhwach goes Full-Name Basis on Ichibee, Yhwach loses the ability to talk (before restoring that ability seconds later by ripping out his own throat).
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Ichibee is responsible for a million years of propaganda and other crimes. Despite this, the worst that happens to him in the series is a slight brush to his ego. The post-war novels reveal then that in ten or hundred years Ichibee has eventually to face judgement for what he did regarding the Soul King and Yhwach.
  • Manipulative Bastard: It is eventually revealed that he only trained Ichigo because he saw in him the perfect candidate as the next Soul King. After his loss against Yhwach, Ichibee tries to appeal to Ichigo's protector instinct and asks him to stop Yhwach, since the Soul King cannot die. The moment Ichigo is out of earshot, Ichibee admits that he had lied. Not only can the Soul King be replaced, he never expected Ichigo to win in the first place. Ichibee had sent Ichigo on a suicide mission, so that he could easily turn him into the lynchpin.
  • Meaningful Name: Hyosube are hairy, bald and fat Youkai. They are known for their violent and unpleasant behaviour among other things. As well as for their tendency to make things very dirty. Ichibee is certainly a hairy and stout man. The association with the yokai hints at his true nature. Fittingly, in a the chapter, Ichibee revealed his true intentions to betray Ichigo, that he lied to him and the others and in fact banked on Ichigo losing and that his idea of peace is called 'Dirty' and, like the Youkai, Ichibee was dirty.
  • Name Amnesia: Ichibei Hyosube has the power to literally erase a person or object's name. I Know Your True Name is very important in this universe, because they affect the power something or someone has. Therefore, anyone or anything affected by this ability loses its powers.
  • No-Sell: Yhwach is capable of stealing Ichibee's power, but it doesn't matter because he can't assimilate it and Ichibee can keep fighting as though nothing happened. When Yhwach finally activates his Almighty ability, Ichibee finds that his Bankai doesn't affect Yhwach at all.
  • Not Quite Dead: He is blown to pieces by Yhwach but when Ichigo finds his dismembered body, he hears Ichibee telepathically request him to speak his name. When Ichigo does so, Ichibee's body is immediately restored. Ichibee confirms he was truly dead, but speaking his name allowed him to take a portion of Ichigo's power to restore his body, and his power will take much longer to replenish. He strongly implies that there's only a finite amount of time in which this power could have worked when he indicates Ichigo spoke his name just in time to save him.
  • Oh, Crap!: He openly expresses his incomprehension when Yhwach easily wrestles himself out of Ichibee's Bankai-esque renaming abilities and grievously injures the Zero Squad commander. And again when Yhwach, through the use of his Schrift, copies Ichibe as the latter is reciting his ultimate technique.
  • Punched Across the Room: One of his techniques in battle, Senri Tsūtenshō (Heaven-Piercing Palm of a Thousand Ri), is an energy construct hand that can send the target flying 1,000 ri (3,927 kilometres) upon impact. Yhwach has to propel himself back to the palace by shooting himself with Heilig Pfeil when he's hit by Ichibee's punch.
  • Semantic Superpower: Invoked Trope, and taken to an extreme literalism. His power is to know the name, and thus abilities, of anything and everything he encounters, and his brush can create or change that name and the powers that go with it.
  • Slasher Smile: As his fight against Yhwach gets more intense, Ichibee starts displaying a lot of manic expressions, including a sinister grin that outlines his murderous intent.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is it Ichibei, Ichibee or Ichibē? The tankobon releases use the Ichibee spelling, while the Bleach Wiki calls him Ichibē.
  • Time Abyss: As the man, who named everything and the godfather of Soul Society, Ichibee was there at the birth of Soul Society a million years ago and carries on the will of the fathers of Soul Society to this day.
  • Why Won't You Die?: After throwing everything he has at Yhwach to destroy him, he is stunned to find Yhwach standing behind him. He demands to know why Yhwach won't die, leading to the revelation of what Yhwach's true abilities are.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: When he writes words with his paintbrush, the effect written becomes reality. His own name is also an example of this - speak it one too many times, and it will make you mute.
  • Written by the Winners: He hides the truth of the Sprit King's death and use of Yhwach's corpse as a replacement from the public and makes the history books say, that the Royal Guard successfully defeated the Quincy and protected the Soul King. Kira and Yoruichi suspect, that this also happened to the history they learned and begin to wonder what else is a lie.

    Kirio Hikifune
Click here to see her slim form 

The "Ruler of Grain." Former captain of Squad 12, preceding Kisuke Urahara. Hiyori Sarugaki, her lieutenant at the time, regarded her as a mother figure. She's a cheery lady, but she has no qualms about striking people if they don't recognize her (like Shinji). As the "Ruler of Grain", Hikifune's specialty is making food so souls can beef up their physical and spiritual energy. She's the one who created artificial souls via Reishi transference (hence Soul Candy and Modsouls).

In battle she wields an enormous....spoon. It's deadlier than it sounds, as she can manipulate and condense reishi into tree-like formations, trapping any said reishi within it. Those trees will instinctively seek and devour reishi.

  • Absolute Cleavage: She has a massive cleavage which is barely noticable in her default overweight form. When she slims down, however, her cleavage barely changes, and her Soul Reaper uniform exposes her cleavage almost down to her stomach.
  • Big Eater: She has a monstrous appetite, being able to eat unnaturally huge portions of food. In Soul Society, the only souls that eat are souls that possess reiatsu; the amount eaten is connected to how much reiatsu they need to restore. Kirio may look like a massively overweight woman but that's because she needs a huge body to maintain her huge reiatsu. Whenever she depletes her reaitsu, her body becomes correspondingly thin. She then has to eat enormous amounts of food to regain her full power.
  • Fanservice: While her normal form normally averts this by being a Big Fun, her slim form gives us an ample look at her Absolute Cleavage and impressive rack.
  • Green Thumb: Her reishi-manipulation abilities extend to being able to create trees out of reishi to combat reishi and reishi-using abilities.
  • Parental Substitute: According to Hiyori's acquaintances, the reason why she was so slow to accept Urahara as her new captain is because she treated Hikifune like her mother.
  • Power-Up Food: The food she makes is filled with her reiatsu, recharging/empowering those who eat it.
  • Supreme Chef: Both Ichigo and Renji call her food the best thing they've ever tasted.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: Her reiatsu levels controls her body's size. When her reiatsu is at full power, she is a massively overweight woman. When her reiatsu is entirely depleted, she has an extremely slim, curvaceous body. When Shinji sees her for the first time since she joined the Royal Guard, he's astonished by her appearance, suggesting that her slim form used to be the norm, and she's only gained the bulking up ability since becoming a member of Zero Division.
  • Uncertain Doom: Following Squad Zero's defeat at the hands of the Schutzstaffel, she is last seen lying on the ground; dead or unconscious is never confirmed in the manga. The wrap-up novel Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World clarifies that the Zero Division was actually killed by the Schutzstaffel; they are regenerated from the remnants of the Royal Palace as a result of infusing their entire physical being with their respective palaces.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has long purple hair.


    Senjumaru Shutara

The "Great Weave Guard". A former captain of unknown background, she's a tall, thin woman with dozens of long arms. A bit playful, she was the one who provided those weird musical instruments during Zero Squad's arrival in the Seireitei. At the same time, she's rather forceful, threatening mutilation to get what she wants. As the "Great Weave Guard", she is responsible for the Shihakusho that all soul reapers currently wear.

Her Zanpakutou is unknown, though she does wield several threading needles in combat. She can weaponize any article of clothing to her own devices, including the clothes her enemies are wearing. She also can sew into existence her own soldiers of varying sizes.

  • Antiquated Linguistics: Uses the pronoun "warawa" to refer herself, which is both very feminine and very archaic.
  • Boom, Headshot!: During Yhwach's invasion of the Royal Palace, Lillie Barro shoots her in the head, leaving a giant hole where the crown of her skull should be and shattering her head ornament, making her fall to the ground and lie in a large pool of blood. However, the Senjumaru Lille shot is just an elaborate decoy, and the real one was simply watching as the elite Sternritters were fooled by the illusion.
  • Creepy Good: She's pretty intimidating, what with her long arms, calm demeanor, and willingness to castrate a man if he kept disobeying her. Even such a figure as Mayuri would prefer not to offer so much as a comeback when she criticizes him.
  • Did Not See That Coming: When Yhwach invades the Royal Palace and has Tenjirou locked in a stalemate, Senjumaru was waiting for him to pass by her and her cohorts. What she did not expect was her underlings' movement being stalled by the powers of Sternritter W, Nianzol Weizol.
  • Exact Words: She informed Weizol that his power is useless against "enemies he couldn't see", making him believe she meant her subordinates directly behind him. Turns out she meant herself while he was distracted.
  • Freudian Threat: Impatiently threatened this toward Renji if he didn't remove his fundoshi so she could measure him for new clothes.
  • Hair Decorations: Wears a strange crown-like object on the back of her head.
  • Lady of War: She's graceful, sophisticated, and has weaponized her abilities as a seamstress. She's also much more powerful than the Gotei 13.
  • Meaningful Name: "Senjumaru" can be translated into "Thousand hands", and she admits that reputation as a lightning-fast weaver isn't far-fetched, seeing she completely remade Nianzol Weizol's uniform into something that impales him from the inside out during the short time he was busy fighting fighting her subordinates, killing him.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: She wears an over-cloak that wraps her body in such a way as to hide whether or not she has natural arms. She possesses six supernatural arms which have a skeletal look and are excessively elongated in both arm length and finger length. These arms are implied to be able to obtain her anything, even if it's locked away, and make her extremely talented at using her power, which is the ability to sew and transform any cloth into any purpose, even if means creating a fake city or "sewing" someone to death.
  • People Jars: One of her techniques is carrying people in artificially made jars for their safety.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Said to Sternritter W referring to a deadly robe she just made, "Don't even dream about taking it off... until you die." As soon as Nianzol dies, she mutters that she forgot to take out the deadly pins in the redesigned uniform, claiming it's a bad habit of hers.
  • Uncertain Doom: Following Squad Zero's defeat at the hands of the Schutzstaffel, she is last seen lying on the ground; dead or unconscious is never confirmed in the manga. The wrap-up novel Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World clarifies that the Zero Division was actually killed by the Schutzstaffel; they are regenerated from the remnants of the Royal Palace as a result of infusing their entire physical being with their respective palaces.

    Tenjirō Kirinji

The "Hot Spring Demon". A condescending and abrasive man, his patronizing attitude frequently results in him being disciplined by the rest of the Royal Guard, usually through physical force, with a strike to the head. He is responsible for many healing techniques currently used, was the one who taught Unohana her healing skills and inspired Urahara's creation of the hidden Healing Spring in Seireitei.

His Zanpakutou is Kinpika, a rowing paddle with a small blade concealed within the wooden sweep. It has been shown to shine brightly, but its powers were not explored. He can also summon and control all of the water from his hot springs, either to scald and burn his enemies or to heal his allies.

  • Combat Medic: He's a superior medic to Unohana and more powerful than the captains.
  • Delinquent Hair: Sports a ridiculously long, hooked pompadour.
  • Dr. Jerk: Subverted. His assessment of Unohana's limitations are honest to the point of rudeness and he's unbelievably rough in handling patients, even ones that are on the verge of death. However, he was much friendlier and laid back with his two servants, and even fairly open about the way he used his behaviour to test his patients limits and recovery ability (he was more impressed than he had expected to be).
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Sui-Feng chastises the Royal Guard for not saving the Gotei 13 during the first invasion, Kirinji pins her arm behind her back and abrasively tells her that she has no business complaining about their absence when it's the Gotei 13's job to protect Soul Society, not the Royal Guard's.
  • Making a Splash: He uses the water from his Healing Spring as a weapon. It drains reiatsu and is scalding hot.
  • Oral Fixation: He always has a piece of straw in his mouth.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: He wears a loose jacket that leaves his chest exposed most of the time.
  • Uncertain Doom: Following Squad Zero's defeat at the hands of the Schutzstaffel, he is last seen lying on the ground; dead or unconscious is never confirmed in the manga. The wrap-up novel Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World clarifies that the Zero Division was actually killed by the Schutzstaffel; they are regenerated from the remnants of the Royal Palace as a result of infusing their entire physical being with their respective palaces.

    Ōetsu Nimaiya

The "God of the Sword." A dark-skinned dude with thick, black hair that is shaven and dyed green on the sides of his head. Noted as a lively, energetic and unpredictable individual, he's nonetheless the inventor of the Asauchi, the basic Zanpakuto spirit form handed out to the Soul Society's recruits.

In battle, he wields a sword known as Sayafushi. The sword is by design flawless, capable of cutting through literally anything and is entirely impervious to even minute damage and staining. Due to this, the sword is also impossible to sheathe (as it would cut right through it), and is thus considered a failed creation, too dangerous to be wielded by anyone else and usually stored in a large tank of jelly.

  • Absurd Cutting Power: The Zanpakuto he wields against Yhwach's guards, Sayafushi, is so sharp a scabbard can't be created for it. He laments that because of this it fails to meet the basic standards of a sword and couldn't be given to anyone.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: For all his jovial eccentricity, he traps Ichigo and Renji in a pit with wrathful Zanpakuto for three days just to test them. When he does finally fight, he's very no-nonsense and quick to kill. He also follows-through to make sure the enemies he's downed really are mortally wounded.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He challenges four elite Quincies and instantly defeats three before they can mount any serious defense. Askin troubles Ōetsu enough for him to require Kirinji's medical intervention; after that, Askin is very quickly felled. As soon as Yhwach powers-up the elites, Ōetsu is curb-stomped by Lille.
  • Fashion Dissonance: In a world where people dress like they're from the Tokugawa Japanese era, Nimaiya wears a modern bubble vest over his traditional Soul Reaper attire to create a strange old-fashioned-meets-modern clash of styles.
  • The Glasses Come Off: He only takes his glasses off when he starts to work on a new Zanpakuto. According to him, taking the glasses off is necessary for him to see the right amount and color of flames used. Also notable in that's his serious mode.
  • Large Ham: He's loud, zany, flashy, and something of a showboat, greeting Ichigo and Renji with a ridiculous display.
  • Mr. Exposition: He informs Ichigo that his Inner Hollow is actually his Zanpakuto Spirit merged with White, the artificial Hollow that Aizen had created; and that the Old Man who Ichigo had thought was Zangetsu is an imposter. How he knew any of this is never revealed.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Despite his personality, once Oetsu actually fights, he will end his battles as fast as he can. He defeats the Shutzstaffel without needless sarcastic wit or making insults.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Ichigo for being a "poser Soul Reaper" when he fails to defeat the Asauchi, though the reason he did so was to motivate him to find out more about his roots. Indeed it works.
  • Stunned Silence: Ichigo's confrontation with the Asauchi doesn't go according to Nimaiya's plan, leaving him momentarily speechless with shock at what he witnesses. After returning to take the test he previously failed, Ichigo doesn't fight again at all. The Asauchi immediately kneel before him in submission.
  • Super Prototype: The sword he wields in combat, Sayafushi, is a "failed creation" because its blade never chips, scratches nor dulls from use, and is so sharp that no sheathe can hold it. This gives it nigh-instantaneous killing power, but makes for a poor sword compared to the mass-produced Zanpakutou.
  • Totally Radical: He talks like a "gangsta", even though he's more than 2,000 years old.
  • Torso with a View: During his battle with the Vandenreich, he's shot in the chest, leaving a gaping hole in his torso.
  • Trickster Mentor: Beneath his exterior of being ridiculously quirky, he spends the entire time testing them. Trapping Ichigo and Renji in a pit of Asauchi out of the blue was to test them as Soul Reapers. It ensured Ichigo would fail, forcing him to learn about his roots and return more able to pass the test.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: He and his Escort Squad forge the Asauchi given to Soul Reaper recruits. They will also reforge existing Zanpakutou that have been literally broken beyond more normal means of repair. However, this tends to create a different form of the Zanpakutou than it originally was. He also reveals the Asauchi are forged from the souls of Soul Reapers.
  • Uncertain Doom: Following Squad Zero's defeat at the hands of the Schutzstaffel, he is last seen lying on the ground; dead or unconscious is never confirmed in the manga. The wrap-up novel Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World clarifies that the Zero Division was actually killed by the Schutzstaffel; they are regenerated from the remnants of the Royal Palace as a result of infusing their entire physical being with their respective palaces.

    The Sword Five 
Five Zanpakuto spirits in the form of young girls serving as the assistants of Ōetsu Nimaiya.

Mera Hiuchigashima

Short and temperamental, Mera has spiky hair, which is tied up in a ponytail at the back. She wears a vest with a large, furred collar, and a short skirt.

  • Dangerously Short Skirt: All her violent episodes happen when she's wearing that miniskirt.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Of the five, Mera and Hasuka are barefoot.
  • Hot-Blooded: She's short-tempered and aggressive, and has no time for Nimaiya's goofy methods of introducing Soul Reapers to his palace. Even when dealing with serious people, she's impatiently no-nonsense.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name translates into "Kindling Island" and she has the ability to breathe fire.
  • Playing with Fire: She can breathe fire out of her mouth, which is what Nimaiya uses to reforge Zangetsu.

Hasuka Hashihara

Hasuka is the happiest and bustiest of the bunch, while being around as violent and tomboyish as Mera. She has no shame in referring to herself, and her comrades, as Nimaiya's "private escort" group.

  • Dangerously Short Skirt: She wears a belted minidress that ends at mid-thigh.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Hers are symbolic of the fact she's the type that's an older woman who is fun-loving, playful and possessed of childlike innocence.
  • Prehensile Hair: She has the ability to extend and freely control her hair, allowing her to grab and hold objects.
  • Ms. Fanservice: A couple of scenes seem designed to put her into stances that show off her curves and cleavage. One shot of what her hair can do seems designed to focus on a cleavage shot as much as what her hair is doing.

Tokie Tonokawa

Tokie is the most negative among the Sword Five, complaining about participating in activities with crocodile tears. She wears a long dress with a halter neck and a black sash around her waist.

Nonomi Nomino

The shortest and youngest-looking of the Sword Five, Nonomi enjoys working, to the point where she scolds Tokie for complaining about forging Zanpakuto. She wears a vest with a collar, and a short skirt with a plumped out hemline.

  • Alliterative Name: Has the same "Noh" sound in both of her names.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: The sclera of her eyes are black, and her pupils are shaped almost like crosses. These are similar to the Soul King's eyes.
  • Repetitive Name: Her surname is simply "Nonomi" switched around, which leads to her name being rather tedious.
  • Token Mini-Moe: She's the tiniest and most youthful of the bunch.

Tsumiko Tsuchimiya

The final member of the Sword Five, Tsumiko is the quietest and calmest of the group, having yet to say a word while mostly having a disinterested look in her eyes. She has long black hair, which covers one of her eyes. She can take out one of her teeth and turn it into a mallet usable for Zanpakuto forging.

  • Alliterative Name: Has the same "Tsu" sound in both of her names.
  • Bandaged Babe: All over her body, including the lower half of her face, to the point where she honestly resembles a mummy.
  • The Quiet One: She never speaks even when directly addressed.
  • The Stoic: Her face, covered as it is, has never deviated from its blank, uninterested expression.


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