A group of Soul Reapers.
|Affiliation||Soul Society, 13 Court Guard Squads|
|Base of Operations||Soul Society|
|Homeworld||Soul Society (post-death), Earth (pre-death)|
|Racial Leader||Spirit King|
|Notable Members||Ichigo Kurosaki|
|Number of Limbs||4|
|Unusual Features||Some Soul Reapers may have animal-like appearances.|
|See Also||Hollows, Vizard, Soul Society, Shinigami|
Soul Reapers (a.k.a. Shinigami) are a race of spiritual beings that act as enforcers and psychopomps who all share similar supernatural powers. They are souls with a high level of innate Spiritual Energy, recruited from the ranks of the residents and nobility of the Soul Society. They bring souls that have the potential to become Soul Reapers to the Soul Society. Like all spirits, they cannot be detected by normal humans. Soul Reapers use their Zanpakutō, supernatural swords that are the manifestation of their owners' power, to perform Soul Burials on Pluses. Shinigami also use their Zanpakutō as well as magic known as Kidō to fight their arch-enemies, the Hollows. Shinigami operations are based out of the Soul Society, where departed human souls reside. Travel between the human world and Soul Society is extremely limited and monitored, but some Soul Reapers are stationed in the human world to carry out their duties and therefore must often travel between the two.
Exiled Soul Reapers Edit
- Main article: Vizards
Substitute Soul Reapers Edit
The Art of War Edit
- Soul Burials (魂葬, konsō): the process by which a Shinigami sends wandering Pluses (souls) in the living world and send them to their respective place. Either Soul Society if they are good in life, and have the potential to become Soul Reapers, or to Hell if their life was full of evil acts (such as murders, theft, etc). Soul Burial is performed by using the hilt of the Soul Reaper's Zanpakutō, tapping the soul on the head and transporting them to the afterlife.
- Hollow Cleansing: When a Shinigami slays a Hollow (evil spirit), with their Zanpakutō they cleanse their sins. Once this takes place a Hollow will return to its former state as a Plus and is led into Soul Society. This is called sublimation. Souls that live in the Soul Society are reborn again into the human world. Not all Hollows are sent to the Soul Society. Hollows that committed serious crimes when they were alive are sent to Hell.
- Soul Governance: Shinigami are responsible for governing the flow of spirits between the human worlds and Soul Society. This is commonly carried out by balancing the total number of souls by moving and managing them in the human world. All of the soul-related jobs are under their authority.
- Main article: Soul Reaper Academy
Shinōreijutsuin (Spiritual Arts Academy): sometimes called the Soul Reaper Academy. The majority of training for individuals (that is, souls residing in the Soul Society) wanting to become Shinigami is done through the Soul Reaper Academy. It is a six-year academy, during which time its students learn how to use their Spiritual Energy properly, fight Hollows, and perform Soul Burials. While the exact date and details of its foundation are not specified, the academy seems to have been founded by Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai about 2000 years ago.
Not much is known about the conditions on which a dweller of the Soul Society is admitted to the Academy. One elementary requirement seems to be that the individual has to possess a certain, above-average level of Spiritual Energy, and has to be able to perform some basic feats using that. Becoming hungry seems to be a good sign in Soul Society for hopeful Shinigami candidates, because feeling hunger means that the person in question is capable of using up Spiritual Energy.
It is at the Spiritual Arts Academy where all the military forces of Soul Society are formally taught. While a majority of students are taken into the main force namely the Gotei 13. There are those who have a special affinity for certain forms of combat that get taken in by the two more secretive and selective branches of the military, namely the Kidō Corps (excelling in Kidō) and the Onmitsukidō (excelling in Hohō & Hakuda).
The Shinigami Academy is one of two groups that is not under the jurisdiction of the Central 46 Chambers.
The cleansing of Hollows is very dangerous task, as most Hollows are no more than mindless monsters thirsty for devouring more and more souls, be it a Plus, a Human soul still in its body, or a Shinigami. Moreover, Hollows who have some of their human consciousness remaining are even more dangerous, as they can be swift, strong and cunning adversaries, utilizing various tricks to avoid purification and catch their prey.
Taking these facts into consideration, Shinigami have to be highly trained in defending themselves and other spirits from being devoured, while being able to land a critical strike on the Hollow itself with their Zanpakutō.
Zankensoki: basic Shinigami fighting techniques. Zan refers to sword fighting techniques. Ken refers to unarmed fighting techniques. So refers to moving techniques. Ki refers to Kidō. All of which require the controlled usage of a varying amount of Spirit Energy.
Hand-to-hand Combat Edit
Mission Aids Edit
Skull Symbol Edit
Hell Butterfly Edit
- Main article: Hell Butterflies
- Main article: Gigai
Artifical Souls Edit
- Main article: Artificial Souls
Modified Souls Edit
Memory Replacement Edit
Soul Phone Edit
Appearance and Physiology Edit
There are, however, a few Shinigami who are less Human-like in appearance. For example it seems that between Shinigami there are much greater variations in body-sizes than between Humans, as there are real giant-like entities (e. g. the four guards of the four gates to Seireitei) and also ones with extremely small stature among them (e. g. Yachiru Kusajishi). This variation seems to occur not just between Soul Reapers, but also between regular dwellers of Soul Society, too.
Variations do not just occur in size but in overall appearance, too, the most notable example being Captain Sajin Komamura, who appears like an anthropomorphic canine.
Magical Abilities Edit
Soul Reapers are souls that have supernatural powers. As such, their bodies are composed of Spiritrons (spirit particles) instead of atoms. This means that just like most other types of spirits, they can only be seen by other spiritually aware entities, which excludes most humans. Nevertheless, they are quite capable of influencing their environment. When souls with exceptional spiritual energy train their bodies, they reach the level of Soul Reaper. The most talented of them become affiliated with various organizations like the 13 Court Guard Squads and the Stealth Force. Sometimes, a Soul Reaper is born among the residents of the Rukongai, and in some rare cases from Seireitei.
Soul Reapers are the personification of death. Their job is to send spirits that have the potential to become Soul Reapers to the Soul Society in order to maintain a balance of souls between it and the material world, and to exorcise evil spirits. Because of their duties Soul Reapers possesses supernatural abilities such as:
- Longevity: While they can age and die of natural causes or as a result of physical injury as regular humans, Soul Reapers have extended life-spans and it is not uncommon for one to live for thousands of years.
- Enhanced Endurance: While they can be injured and die like regular humans, it takes considerably greater injuries for the latter to occur than it would in regular humans.
- Reiryoku: Soul Reapers also naturally give off Spiritual Energy, which varies greatly in magnitude with the strength of a Soul Reapers. Additionally, unlike humans, they do not have to eat anything to sustain themselves, though they engage in the act none the less as Soul Reapers and other spiritual beings only become hungry when they used too much Spiritual Energy within a short amount of time.
- Kidō: The technique that Soul Reapers use to focus their Spiritual Energy into magic spells of various powers.
- Hohō: A variety of techniques associated with movement, including jumping and shunpo (flash step).
- Zanpakutō: The most prominent supernatural power possessed by a Soul Reaper is their Zanpakutō, a supernatural sword (commonly in the form of a katana) generated from the Soul Reaper's soul. A Zanpakutō is a physical manifestation of this force concentrated into a blade. All Shinigami have a Zanpakutō, but not all of them carry one with them.