What Is Squad Zero In Bleach? Who Are Its Members? Are They Stronger Than Yamamoto?

With the episode 7 of Bleach Anime about to drop, there are going to be huge revelations coming your way. One such revelation is that of the never ever heard before Squad Zero.

After defeating Ichigo and calling him his son born in the dark, Yhwach claims to Jugramm Haschwalt that the Zero Squad or Squad Zero will now be appearing soon. Hence they need to move quickly.

So, who is this squad zero? How many members are there? What are their powers? I’ll be answering all these questions and more in this article.

So let’s jump right into it!

Who Are Squad Zero Or Zero Squad? What Is Squad Zero’s Aim?

As we all know that the Shinigami corps are divided into 13 units which is the Gotei 13 or the 13 court guards. The aim of Gotei 13 is to protect the soul society.

Whereas, the squad zero or the Royal Guard of Bleach are the guardians of the palace of Soul King i.e. the God of Bleach verse. However, unlike the Gotei 13, there are only 5 members in the squad zero.

Each of them stronger than an entire squad of Gotei 13. As mentioned above there are 5 members in squad zero.

They are selected if they have an extraordinary contribution during their time in the Gotei 13 and were captain of their squad. Which means they were strong and understood working of soul society very deeply.

Each of the member of squad zero have unique abilities and have helped make soul society a better place.

The squad zero’s main aim is to make sure they keep the Soul-King i.e. the God of Bleach-verse, the Royal Family and the Soul-King Palace, safe. They all reside in a different dimension right above Soul Society called the Soul-King’s palace and each of the 5 members own their own space within the palace.

Where each space is as big as a city.

Read the following article to know who is the Soul King:

Where Was The Squad Zero Before This?

The Squad Zero is also called the Royal Guard as their duty is to protect the Soul King and his palace.

They have the highest authority right after the soul king and their word is the final word in all of soul society.

To get selected in Squad Zero, your contribution to soul society must be directly acknowledged by Soul-King himself.

However, being stuck in the crystal it is still unclear how does the Soul-King communicate.

As mentioned above, the squad zero resides in the Soul-King’s palace and each member has their own cities in that palace. Whereas, the Soul-King has his own shrine hovering above all the 5 cities.

The first mention we see of Royal Guard or the Squad Zero is when Yamamoto was explaining Aizen’s plan to Orihime during the Vasto Lorde Arc when Ichigo was training with Hirako and others in chapter 223, page 7.

Who Are The Members Of Squad Zero?

As mentioned there are 5 members in Squad zero. Following are their names, designation, title & contribution to soul society:

NameDesignationTitleContribution
Ichibē HyōsubeLeader of the Zero DivisionMonk Who Calls the Real NameNames
Tenjirō KirinjiDivine General of the East / Zero Division 1st OfficerHot Spring DemonHealing Springs
Kirio HikifuneDivine General of the South / Zero Division 2nd OfficerRuler of GrainArtificial Soul
Ōetsu NimaiyaDivine General of the West / Zero Division 3rd OfficerGod of the SwordZanpakutō
Senjumaru ShutaraDivine General of the North / Zero Division 4th OfficerGreat Weave GuardUnknown

I will discuss them one by one.

1. Ichibei Hyosube

Ichibei is the strongest of all the members of squad zero and is also their captain. He is given the title of Monk Who Calls the Real Name or Manako Osho in Japanese. Manako Osho also translates to High Priest. Hence we see Kyoraku calling Ichibei as Osho in today’s episode. He is one of the oldest living shinigami’s in Bleach.

This also proves that Ichibei and Kyoraku know each other.

Ichibei was given his title by Soul King himself and was the first person in all of soul society to name things as we know them now. For example, Ichibei is the one who first named the swords/asauchi as Zanpakuto. He even came with the terms Shikai and bankai, which every Shinigami uses.

The names he gives are non-reversible for other beings only he can change the names of things.

Also, his name itself is cursed. One who do not possess the moral strength as per Ichibe’s standards and tries to call out his name will have his throat crushed.

He is also the first shinigami to ever achieve the state of Bankai in all of Soul Society’s history.

Ichibei also knows the real names of all things living and non living i.e. including zanpakuto spirit’s real names. This is displayed when he tells Renji Abarai that his zanpakuto spirit lied to him about its real name and that he should be acknowledged by his Zanpakuto spirit to call out the full name of the spirit to perform bankai.

Since he knows names of everything in soul society and in Bleach-verse knowing names of things can give you power, Ichibei can also siphon off strength of people and give them new names. This was displayed during his fight with Yhwach where he gave Yhwach the name of an ant.

This made Yhwach as weak as an ant.

He can also summon giant hands and feet that replicate his actions and thus landed a barrage of attacks on Yhwach.

On top of that since Ichibei knows names of things from the get go it also grants him the ability to deduce the nature of things down to its most miniscule details. Now as mentioned before he has named everything is soul society, even bankai and shikai, hence he knows the working of them and also the quincy volstanding.

This knowledge of things and being a captain for more than 1000 years, has made Ichibei very wise more than anyone else. He can adapt his battle strategy even amidst battle.

Hence he was mentioned as one of the 5 special war threats by Yhwach and quincy army.

Furthermore, talking about Ichibei’s strength he is strong enough to fight Yhwach alone and win. If it wasn’t for Yhwach’s overhaxed ability “Almighty”, Ichibei would have ended the war by himself.

2. Tenjiro Kirinji

Kirinji is the Divine General of the East / Zero Division 1st Officer. His title is Hot Spring Demon as he created healing springs that can cure beings from even near fatal injury.

His healing springs not just heal the body but also the reiatsu of the shinigami’s. He further is called as the fastest shinigami to ever live as he has mastered shunpo to such an high extent.

His white pond and blood pond can be summoned to aid him in battle where the white pond water is used to rot the enemies and the blood pond is used to replenish the blood of comrades. This makes him a prominent part of the squad zero.

Being a captain class shinigami, Kirinji is extremely strong and is also prominent with zanjitsu. He was the first one to encounter Yhwach when he entered soul king’s palace. Although he was defeated by Sternritters.

3. Kirio Hikifune

Kirio is the Divine General of the South / Zero Division 2nd Officer. She holds the title of Ruler of the grain for her immense cooking skills which replenish lost reiatsu and increasing the quality and strength of it. She was chosen in the Zero Squad due to she being the creator of Artificial souls.

Her contribution has allowed Shinigami’s to wander and interact in human world.

She appears to be a plump woman who is always hungry however her real form is of a really attractive and well-endowed woman. Her beauty left Ichigo and Renji speechless for a couple of moments.

The reason behind this being her ability of cooking. While cooking food for others she infuses her inherently strong reiatsu into the food she cooks. So as she cooks she keeps on losing weight. She has to eat a lot to get back to her plump shape.

She needs to be in her plump shape as a danger can occur anytime.

Being a captain class Shinigami, she is extremely strong and is as fast as Kirinji. Her shikai and bankai were never revealed.

She lost a considerable amount of reiatsu while fighting Yhwach and Schtuzstaffel and was later defeated.

4. Ōetsu Nimaiya

Nimaiya is the Divine General of the West / Zero Division 3rd Officer and is given the title of God of the Sword by the Soul King. This is due to his major contribution to soul society is the creation of zanpakuto.

Yes, Nimaiya is the only person who can create zanpakuto for all shinigami’s even the for the likes of Yamamoto, the strongest shinigami ever. To people like Kenpachi who stole asauchi from a dead body.

Prior to him creating zanpakuto’s everyone used to fight barehanded and they didn’t have a weapon to focus their reiatsu into. Hence, his invention was a major breakthrough for the court guard whose main job was to fight.

Talking about his powers, well, Nimaiya is a unique shinigami, he uses a sword whose blade is so sharp that it cannot be kept in a sheath. Also, its edge is too smooth that it cannot stay stable in a sheath and no blood ever stays on it. Hence, he declares his own zanpakuto called Sayafushi a failed sword since it doesn’t fit the definition of a sword.

During his fight against Yhwach and his Schutzstaffel, Nimaiya is the only person who has successfully managed to kill all 4 of the schutzstaffel singlehandedly. Especially, Gerrard Valkyrie and Pernida Parnkgjas, since they both are living parts of the Soul King, such as heart and right hand, respectively.

This in itself is huge feat that no other Shinigami has even attempted to complete and lived to tell the tale.

However, he was defeated when Yhwach revived them all with more power and near God like abilities.

5. Senjumaru Shutara

Senjumaru is the Divine General of the North / Zero Division 4th Officer and the title given to her is Great Weave Guard. Her contribution to soul society is unknown unlike the others. Her abilities are also not explicitly displayed as she only fights Nianzol, a quincy who can block any and all attacks he can see and once he sees the attack it becomes nullified the second time.

However, he cannot stop invisible attacks and then Senjumaru attacks him with her skinny hands which are invisible to naked eyes. Using those she weaves him a new robe which eventually kills him by piercing his body with needles.

She later tries to attack Yhwach and his schutzstaffel but is later defeated.

Now, Shunsui stated that the combined strength of all the 5 members of Squad zero is more than all of Gotei 13 combined.

However, noting that all of the Zero squad was defeated by Yhwach and his men it makes you consider Shunsui’s statement as an overexaggeration.

So was it really an overexaggeration or is there some truth to it? Let’s find out.

How Strong Is the Squad Zero?

Looking at their aim and the organizational position they hold, Squad Zero is supposed to be stronger than Gotei 13. As mentioned above, Shunsui claimed that they are stronger than all of Court Guard. Well, technically they are if all the 5 shinigami’s are fighting against all of court guard at once.

Considering, they all are proud of being members of the Gotei 13 and Ichibei can simply change the names of the Captains to defeat them. Once that is done rest are a cake walk.

Second way, even if Ichibei doesn’t change the names of all the captains, the captains of gotei 13 cannot win against the squad zero with just their shikai.

They have to go bankai against them, however, there are several captains in the Gotei 13 whose bankai’s are dual edged swords which can affect both sides. Especially those of Shunsui & Yamamoto who are the strongest assets of Gotei 13 against the hax abilities of Squad zero.

Third, the squad zero has two healers who can attack as well. So they can replenish all their blood and reiatsu thanks to Kirinji and Hikifune. Whereas, Gotei 13 has only one healer whose special and only ability is to kill people. That too considering Zaraki kept her alive which would mean that Retsu still holds the position of Kenpachi and Zaraki haven’t unlocked his shikai and bankai yet.

There are endless scenarios which we can create using these two fighting armies and every time the win goes to Squad zero solely based on the ability of one of their member.

And that member is the strongest member of Gotei 13 and the Royal Guard.

Who Is the Strongest Squad Zero Member?

I am sure you must have guessed it by now, the strongest squad zero member is Ichibei Hyosube.

The reason behind Ichibei being the strongest squad zero member is his ability to name and rename things. Also, he has been alive and in service of the Soul King even before the Soul King was sealed away by the Shinigami’s.

Also, Ichibei is fiercely loyal to the 5 founding families of the Soul Society who sealed the Soul-King.

He has immense knowledge on the working of the soul society and about everything in general. He is a being whose strength alone rivals that of peak Yamamoto and combined with several thousands of years of commanding the Squad Zero has made Ichibei a great strategist as well.

Furthermore, in the novels, Ichibei is shown as a psychopath who has no regards for others lives. It is displayed when Shunsui, another psychopath, suggested to “kill” Ichigo and make him replace the soul king.

If Yhwach’s body was not there, they were going to go ahead with that plan. To which Ichibei only says that he would have missed talking to the boy.

This shows Ichibei is ready to go to any lengths to achieve his goals unlike Yamamoto who according to Yhwach had gone soft.

Furthermore, the ability to name and rename things is a very tricky ability with practically no drawbacks.

Unless, you’ve the ability to change the future even if you are dead.

Not to forget he is the first being to ever achieve a bankai. And since he named the evolved stage “bankai”, he can change it to anything else he wishes and not inform it to anyone.

Thus, not letting anyone ever use a bankai.

This is frightening enough power to claim that Ichibei is the strongest Shinigami in existence. But, even then Yamamoto was considered the strongest shinigami why?

Is Squad Zero Stronger Than Genryusai Yamamoto?

Well technically they are and they aren’t. Yamamoto with his zanpakuto is the strongest shinigami in existence in terms of battle power.

However, the Squad zero is not all about power, especially their captain Ichibei Hyosube.

Not to forget, we don’t know 4 out of 5 of the squad zero member’s bankai. And the one bankai we know is too overpowered to defend against.

Still going by what we have seen till now from Zero Squad, Yamamoto can easily take on at least 3/4 of its members and win.

Yamaji in his bankai can evaporate all the water of Kirinji thus destroying his healing abilities. However, we don’t know his bankai. We can extrapolate that his bankai ability is somewhat similar to his shikai so Yamaji can be assumed to be able to take on Kirinji and win.

When it comes to Hikifune and Nimaiya, their shikai and bankai are not revealed just like the last remaining member of the squad zero, Senjumaru. The abilities shown by this 3 seem like a child play for Yamamoto.

But it is important to remember that Nimaiya one shot all 4 schutzstaffel whereas, Yamaji’s attack was blocked by Bazz B who is not even a Schutzstaffel.

But, Yhwach said that only he could take on Yamamoto meaning he didn’t consider anyone else even the Schutzstaffel to be able to defeat Yamamoto. So we can safely assume that Yhwach indirectly said that Yamaji is the stronger than his Schutzstaffel.

Also, Shunsui fought and won against an even more powered up Lille Barro and Shunsui never got any extra power up during the entire war. And Yamaji is said to be stronger than this Shunsui.

Also, Gerrard kept on reviving thanks to him being the heart of the soul king. However, Yamaji’s ability turns everything into nothing, hence he could have defeated Gerrard with a single touch of the tip of his sword.

Rest other Schutzstaffel are fodder for Yamamoto.

Now coming back to Squad Zero, Nimaiya was killed by this newly powered up Lille Barro and so were the rest of the squad zero with the exception of Ichibei.

Now Ichibei is a being who is far older than any of the shinigami’s. Even Yamamoto is younger than him. Although their appearances are deceiving, Yamaji is lot younger than Ichibei. Ichibei maintained his looks maybe due to his connection with Soul King via the Oken.

Also, as mentioned above, his ability is a hax. And he beat the Yhwach who killed Yamamoto although he cheated.

Even though Yhwach used another hax ability to survive and defeat Ichibei if Ichibei hadn’t gone on patronizing Yhwach and underestimating him from the beginning Ichibei should have been able to kill Yhwach the moment he saw him.

Thus its safe to say that only Ichibei is the only one who can defeat Yamamoto in a fair fight. The others will be defeated by Yamamoto with little to mid difficulty.

TL:DR;

Squad zero is extremely strong group of Shinigami’s whose powers outclass several captain level shinigami’s from Gotei 13. However, with the exception of Ichibei, they cannot defeat Yamamoto is a one on one fight.

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