9th Division (Strikers)

Closely related to the 2nd division, the 9th division specialises in providing subtle, efficient troops trained to get their job done with as little commotion as possible – and with a great deal of permanence. The 9th division prefers smaller squads prepared for short and terminally violent operations – they might also be called "wet work".

Captain: None

The 9 division captain seat has been empty since Tousen Kaname took part in the recent betrayal. Soul Society is actively looking to appoint a replacement; likely candidates at this point are considered to be Hisagi Shuuhei (the current vice-captain and acting captain) and Iba Tetsuzaemon (current 7th division vice-captain), both of whom are perceived to be close to bankai. Abarai Renji, current 6th division vice-captain, is also considered a possibility given the knowledge that he attained bankai recently; he is viewed as more of an "outside chance", however.

Former Captain: Tousen Kaname

Former Captain Tousen joined Aizen Sousuke and Ichimaru Gin in conspiring against Soul Society, and fled with them to Hueco Mundo after events came to a head. Unlike the others, however, Tousen seems to consider his actions not just morally appropriate, but necessary; his credo is to "take the path with the least bloodshed", which he felt was served better by Aizen than by Soul Society.

More even than Komamura or Byakuya, Tousen displays an absolute – and most significantly, emotionless – commitment to the concept of law and justice. He considers himself a pacifist, and abhors unnecessary violence; It is his belief that only through Aizen's goal, to become a supreme ruler, will it be possible to create a world without bloodshed.

Zanpakutou: Suzumushi (lit. "Pure Insects" or "Cricket")

In its sealed state, Suzumushi looks like a regular katana; its crossguard is shaped like a teardrop, with several teardrop-shaped holes at the base, and a small ring at the tip. Unlike most zanpakutou, Suzumushi has two shikai commands, each producing a unique effect. Interestingly, neither version changes the blade's shape.

Suzumushi's regular release command is "Cry", which has the effect of projecting a high-pitched tone over a wide area, overloading the hearing of anyone in range and knocking them unconscious. This comparatively humane and painless technique fits with Tousen's self-presentation as a proponent of justice.

Suzumushi's second release command is "smash his limbs", which changes Suzumushi into its "Benihikou" (lit. "Crimson Flying Locusts") form. In this form, Tousen can draw trails with the blade which become hundreds of blades that rain down on his opponents.

Suzumushi's bankai, named Enma Kourogi (lit. "Enma Cricket"), creates a large black dome centred at Tousen's location and anchored to the ground with ten rings. Anyone within the dome loses access to all senses except touch. Anything touching Suzumushi's hilt is immune to the dome's effects, hence Tousen himself is unaffected.

Acting Captain/Vice-captain: Hisagi Shuuhei

Vice-Captain Shuuhei did not so much seek the role of captain as it was forced upon him after Tousen left. Little is known about his specific abilities, but it's known that even during his days in the academy he was quite skilled, commonly leading other shinigami trainees on mock missions. However, it is also said that Shuuhei failed the entrance exam for the academy twice, and his talent allowed him to become a seated officer in the Gotei 13 without having to pass additional tests. Whilst he is currently acting as captain of the 9th Division, it is felt by many that HIsagi will not actually succeed his captain, and will instead cede to a newcomer.

Shuuhei is an extremely mature and calm individual, a state that is slightly at odds with his somewhat punk-like appearance. He usually takes responsibility, and tends to avoid violence when possible. He seems to be virtuous, much like his captain's image before the betrayal. Stories from his days at the shinigami academy hint at a more laidback and boyish personality, however. Shuuhei is often seen in the company of 6th division vice-captain Renji and 5th division vice-captain Kira.

Shuuhei is very visually distinctive. In addition to spiked hair, he has a small tattoo of the number 69 on the left side of his face. He is usually seen wearing a choker around his throat, and a matching armband on his right arm. He is also seen with a bandage across his face, and three long scars running vertically down the right side of his face.

Zanpakutou: ?

In its sealed form, Shuuhei's zanpakutou looks like a regular katana with an octagonal tsuba. Its released form is unknown.

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