The Zero Division is the most powerful squad in Bleach. They reside in the Soul Palace and are the protectors of the Soul King himself. The members of the Zero Division include Ichibe, Kirio, Senjumaru, Tenjiro, and Owetsu. All five of these individuals are insanely powerful in their own right, and together, are said to be more potent than all 13 squads combined.
But to go into more detail, the Zero Division, Squad Zero, or the Royal Guard, are the protectors of the Soul King and the royal family. The Zero Division is also tasked with killing Menos Grande, but this was stated very early on in the series. For what we know about Squad Zero, this task is pretty pointless considering that regular captains can kill Menos with ease.
While they do reside in the Soul King’s Palace, the Royal Guard all have their own individual cities that they watch over. Since they do spend a large majority of their time at the Soul Palace, most members of the Gote 13 don’t even know of their existence. However, it is possible for a captain of the Gote 13 to be promoted to Squad Zero, as seen with Kiryo Hikifune.
Now, it’s important to mention that the only way to get into the Soul Palace is by using the Oaken. This is the key that Eisen tried to create before Ichigo shut all that down. But it actually turns out that all members of the Zero Division are basically Okens themselves, as they’ve been granted special powers by the Soul King.
So a big question that’s asked when it comes to the Zero Division is why didn’t they help the Gote 13 when every captain’s ass was getting whooped by Eisen? While the simple answer to that is that their job is not to protect the cerate, their one and only objective is to protect the Soul Palace.
And Squad Zero can really give two shits about what happens in the Soul Society anyway, because that’s the Gote 13’s job. And whether or not the 13 squads are actually good at doing their job is not their problem either. However, if Eisen did make it to the Soul Palace somehow, that would be a different situation entirely.
Ichibe Hosubei is the head of the Zero Division. His title is the monk who calls the real name, and this is for good reason, as Ichibe is the one who named everything in the Soul Society. This role goes good with his abilities as well. Ichibe’s Zanpakuto is named Ichi Monji, and in its lowest form, it’s still pretty broken.
While sealed, Ichimonji takes the appearance of a large paintbrush, and as you can expect, it cannot cut enemies. But what it can do is cut the names of things. For example, by striking Yuhua’s arm, Ichibe was able to cut the power of that arm in half by changing its name. This is pretty much the essence of Ichibe’s abilities.
By changing the names of objects and people, he’s able to manipulate their power. This is emphasized when he releases his Shikai form. As said in chapter 608, Ichibe’s power is the power of darkness, and by covering anything in the ink that his sword generates, he’s able to take away its name. Since anything without a name loses its powers, Ichibe follows up this attack with his Bankai called Shirafudai Ichimonji.
With Shira food day, Ichibe can rewrite the names of anything, as seen when he changed Yuha’s name to Black Ants. This did exactly what you think it would – it gave Yuha the stats of an ant. These abilities are why Ichibe is seen as one of the most broken characters in the series, as he can solo pretty much everybody besides Yuha and probably these three.
Ichibe has other powers as well, such as Resurrection, overpowered keto, and giant limbs that can slap somebody thousands of miles away.
Kiryo Hikafune is the ruler of grain and she is responsible for creating artificial souls for those who don’t know. Artificial Souls allow Soul Reapers to separate themselves from a gigai, and if that didn’t make any sense to you, it’s basically the reason why Ichigo is able to turn into a Soul Reaper in the beginning of the series.
The Soul King saw Kiryo worthy of being on the Zero division solely because of this invention. In fact, all of the members of the royal guard were promoted to their position by making a significant contribution to the soul Society. Now, Kiryo’s main role in the story was to power up Ichigo and Renji during the Thousand-Year Blood War.
She did this by creating a bunch of food laced with Spirit energy and feeding it to them, therefore making them stronger. Because of this, Kiryo used up a lot of ryatsu, making her look like… fortunately, before we got to see her in action, Kiryo got taken out by the Stern Ritter. But before she died, she did use a technique called the Cage of Life. This cage absorbs the spirit energy of those who tried to escape and the branches block attacks.
Senjumaru Shutara is known as the Great Weave Guard and she is responsible for creating the Shinigami shihaku show. Senjumaro can create and manipulate cloth to the point that she can make entire outfits in seconds. Also, the cloth can be used in a lethal way, as seen when she used it to kill Nyanzel Weasel.
Tenjiro Karinji holds the title of Hot Spring Demon. He is known for his healing techniques, and sometime in the past, he passed them down to Captain Unahana. In fact, Tenjiro is responsible for bringing Ichigo and the other Soul Reapers back to good health after they took a massive L. He accomplished this by using his two hot springs known as White Bone Hell and Hot Pond Hell.
This treatment was so effective that it took Byakya from literally his Deathbed to full health in a short amount of time. Kenjiro Zompoc Toe is named Kempika and he can also use his hot spring abilities in an offensive way.
Owatsunamaya is known as the God of the Sword for good reason, as he’s the creator of the Zompoc Toe, or more accurately, he’s the creator of the Asuji. I explained the Asuji pretty well in my Ichigo blog, so roll the clip (flashback). And Asuji is given to Soul Reapers in training and over time, their soul is imprinted onto it.
This can be seen with pretty much all Shinigami, but I’ll use Renji as an example. Renji’s Zabimaru starts out as a basic white nothing guy, but over time and through combat, it evolves into Zabimaru (flashback). Now knowing all of this, you can probably come to the conclusion that Nemaya is a master swordsmith.
He is the one that crafted Ichigo’s new Bankai after all. He also knows the location of every Zanpakuto that was made in the Soul Society. The Mayuri’s Zanpakuto is named Seifushi, and it’s known for being extremely sharp. So sharp, in fact, that he has to keep it in a box full of jello since no sheath can hold the sword. He also considers the sword a failure for this reason as well.
Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all we know about the Zero Division, and you may notice that I didn’t even mention some of their Shikai and Bankai abilities. That is because they all got easily no-diffed by the Schutzstaffel off-screen. This is the main reason why a lot of people consider the Zero Division as a disappointment.
Even the head captain, Ichibe, was defeated by Yhwach fairly easily. Now, this is Yhwach we’re talking about, but many people still believe that the fights between the Zero Division and the Schutzstaffel should have been extended. I believe this too, but the conversation about how the Zero Division was handled is one for another blog. But that pretty much does it for this one. Next week, I’m returning to my roots, and I’m doing more One Piece. See y’all later!
That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.