Bleach: The Royal Guard, Explained

Soul Society’s main military force is the Gotei 13. And as the name suggests, there are 13 divisions that are responsible for different areas of Soul Society, as well as different aspects of the military, such as Medic , Research, BlackOps, etc. Each division is led by a captain, with the captain of the first division being the leader of the entire Gotei 13.


What most people might not know, however, is the fact that there is actually another entity that stands above the Gotei 13. Their name is the Royal Guard, or also known as the name of Division Zero. The reason most people don’t know about them is that they rarely appear in public. They also never interfere with what goes on within Soul Society itself. So who is a member of the Royal Guard, and what is their actual job?

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The royal guard

First appearance of the Bleach Royal Guards

Although the Gotei 13 handles most day-to-day activities, Soul Society itself is actually ruled by a monarch, who is the Soul King. Soul King resides in his Royal Palace, located above Soul Society. It is usually invisible to the naked eye. After all, it’s technically located in a different dimension, which is why only a handful of people even know how to get to the palace.

As its name suggests, the Royal Guard is the guardian of the Royal Palace. They’re pretty much the Soul King’s bodyguards. The Royal Guard only has five members, but each of them is on par with or even stronger than most Gotei 13 captains. Not only that, each member of the Royal Guard is also a shinigami who has brought great contribution to the soul. Company. In a way, they are also among the most influential people in the history of Soul Society. We’ll talk more about each member of the Royal Guard in the following sections.

Ichibe Hyosube, leader of Division Zero

Bleach Royal Guard Ichibe Hyosube

As the leader of the royal guard, it’s no exaggeration to say that Ichibe Hyosube is the most powerful shinigami in all of Soul Society. It’s hard to tell how strong he is at first glance, as he looks like another buff monk. Combine that with his easy-going personality, then it’s easy to mistake him for a regular wandering monk.

That being said, Ichibe’s true power lies in his unique ability. As mentioned earlier, each member of the Royal Guard brings something essential to Soul Society. For Ichibe, well, he was the first to choose the names of everything in Soul Society, like Zanpakuto, Shikai, Bankai, etc. In fact, he is the first shinigami who managed to obtain a bankai. And don’t let his friendly appearance fool you, as he can be extremely ruthless towards his opponents.

Tenjiro Kirinji, Divine General of the East

Bleach Royal Guard Tenjiro Kirinji

Tenjiro Kirinji is the first officer of the royal guard. He is a tall, fairly muscular man who always looks bored and annoyed at the same time. Add a pompadour hairstyle into the mix, and we have a shinigami that looks like a Yakuza in our hands. But just like Ichibe, Tenjiro’s appearance can be rather deceiving.

Because while he’s an extremely capable fighter, Tenjiro’s strength lies in his healing ability. He is at the forefront of healing techniques in Soul Society. In fact, Tenjiro is the one who taught healing techniques to Captain Unohana, who is often considered the best medic in Soul Society. To heal serious wounds, Tenjiro uses his bespoke hot springs that can heal any type of wound within hours.

Kirio Hikifune, Divine General of the South

Bleach Royal Guard Kirio Hikifune

Kirio Hikifune is the second officer of the royal guard. She is a chubby woman who always has a smile on her face. She is easily the friendliest person in the Royal Guard. And while she loves to cook and eat, she’s also an incredibly smart person. In fact, before Kirio joined the Royal Guard, she was actually the captain of the 12th Division, the research and development branch of the Gotei 13.

Kirio is the one who created the artificial soul technology, which is the candy-like object that can be used by a shinigami in order to put a sentient soul into their human body while on earth, just like the Ichigo’s Kon. Her ability to infuse the soul into objects has allowed her to put her reiatsu into the dishes she cooks. Meaning anyone who eats their meal will feel energized and receive a temporary Reiatsu boost. Interestingly enough, since Kirio infused her own reiatsu into the meal she cooks, she always ends up losing weight after a cooking session.

Oetsu Nimaiya, Divine General of the West

Bleach Royal Guard Oetsu Nimaiya

Oetsu Nimaiya is the third officer of the royal guard. And with his unique hairstyle, colorful shades, white padded vest, and energetic vibe, Oetsu is definitely the funkiest man in the Royal Guard. However, unlike the other Royal Guards, Oetsu’s strength lies in his remarkable swordsmanship.

Since he is such a skilled swordsman, it goes without saying that his contribution to Soul Society is none other than the Zanpakuto itself. He created the Asauchi, which is the best form of every Zanpakuto. As such, he knows the location and abilities of every Zanpakuto in existence. He is also the only one who can reforge a broken Zanpakuto. Thanks to his invention and skill as a swordsman, Oetsy Nimaiya is also known as the god of swords.

Senjumaru Shutara, Divine General of the North

Bleach Royal Guard Senjumaru Shutara

Last but not least is Senjumaru Shuutara, the fourth officer of the royal guard. She is an elegant and aloof woman who can always stand out in the crowd thanks to her beautiful face, slim figure, golden hair ornaments, as well as the three pairs of artificial hands that are attached to her back. But make no mistake, Senjumaru has a sharp tongue and won’t hesitate to speak her mind to anyone.

Senjumaru is the creator of the clothes that all shinigami wear, the Shihakusho. But her masterpiece has to be the Oken clothes she made for the royal guards. This garment not only allowed easy passage between the Royal Palace and Soul Society, but it also provided quite a considerable defensive boost to its wearer. Additionally, Senjumaru’s ability extends to all kinds of clothing, as she has the power to create and manipulate all types of clothing.

As you can see, aside from their combat prowess, each member of the Royal Guard also has a unique set of skills. Moreover, they are also the people who shape the Gotei 13, also the Soul Society to some extent, as we all know today. But above all, their task is to guard the most important person in Soul Society, the Soul King.

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