The Visored (ヴァイザード, vaizādo) pronounced in English as "VIGH-zurhd". Originally thought to be translated as Vizard(仮面の軍勢, kamen no gunzei; lit. masked army), is a group of Shinigami that have acquired Hollow powers. Following the battle at the Fake Karakura Town, they have become central combatants against Sōsuke Aizen's Espada and Aizen himself.
Having begun as Shinigami, the Visored appear entirely Human and bar those times where they are using their powers are indistinguishable from ordinary Shinigami. To gain access to their Hollow powers, a Visored dons a Hollow mask. This allows them to augment their Shinigami abilities with Hollow powers, as well as giving them access to some of the more generic Hollow abilities. Their spiritual pressure likewise changes into a mix of Hollow and Shinigami. This process of donning one's Hollow mask is referred to as Hollowfication.
Visored have been shown to be former captain and lieutenant Shinigami. They are considered criminals by the Soul Society for committing the ultimate taboo of acquiring Hollow powers; their status as former leaders of Soul Society also marks them as traitors.
During their introduction, they are viewed as reclusive and are thought to be only having loyalty to themselves, for it was unknown what role they would take in the upcoming battle at the fake Karakura Town. However, they are still considered to be valuable allies in the war against Sōsuke Aizen's army of Arrancar, according to Kisuke Urahara. The Visored haven't shown any sort of hierarchy, preferring a loose-knit organization.
Their intentions are finally revealed when they arrive at the Battle of the Fake Karakura Town. Even after the events that made them outlaws by Soul Society 100 years ago, the Visored bear no ill will toward the Gotei 13, but they prefer not to consider themselves allies of the former organization they belonged to either. Instead, they expressively confirm themselves enemies of Aizen, and by extension, the Espada, and state that they are allies of Ichigo Kurosaki.
Turn Back the Pendulum arcEdit
Around 100 years before the current storyline, people in Soul Society started to disappear, but more than simple death, there were no bodies found; only the victims' clothes remained. The situation caused a great uproar in the Gotei 13 as investigative groups were sent out and not heard from again. Due to this, the 9th Division's command structure took it upon themselves to investigate the situation: Kensei Muguruma, then-captain of the Ninth Division, Mashiro Kuna, his then-lieutenant, and their subordinates (comprising the 3rd to 6th Seats).They were all mysteriously cut down by a then-unknown assailant that succeeded in taking them all by surprise using some unknown method. When their Reiatsu disappeared in a manner similar to the previous disappearances, the Gotei 13 became worried and sent out a new investigation team personally hand picked by Captain-Commander Yamamoto to see what had happened. Captains Shinji Hirako of the 5th Division, Love Aikawa of the 7th Division and Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi of the 3rd Division, along with the Kidō Corps' lieutenant Hachigen Ushōda and Kyōraku's lieutenant Lisa Yadōmaru, all set out to find the missing Shinigami. Urahara's lieutenant, Hiyori Sarugaki was already on her way to collect samples of the disappearance site per Urahara's request.
When the group finally arrived they found Hiyori and then themselves under attack by a Hollowfied Kensei and Mashiro. Even while working as a team they were overpowered by the brutal attacks from the former fellow Shinigami. When Hachi arrived, he bound Mashiro and Kensei using Kidō. Hiyori, now being held by Shinji, begins to succumb to the Hollowfication process and attacks Shinji without warning. The others were then surrounded by a pitch black darkness that also rendered them unable to sense each other, where they were systematically cut down. After the darkness is lifted Shinji is the only one still conscious to see that it was all Kaname Tōsen, Kensei's 6th Seat, using his Bankai against them. Shinji tried to question Tōsen about the betrayal of his captain while he and the others were going through various stages of Hollowfication. Aizen, Shinji's lieutenant, then shows up with Gin Ichimaru, Shinji's 3rd Seat in tow, explaining that he was following his orders. Aizen begins to explain how he was behind it all and that he had been manipulating Shinji from the start using his Zanpakutō's special ability. He then gave Tōsen permission to get rid of Hiyori, whom he attacked. Shinji, who refused to go down without a fight, engaged in combat with Tōsen. He initially gained the upper hand due to the increase in his power, but eventually succumbed more to the Hollowfication process. Aizen prepared to attack him, but was stopped by the timely arrival of the cloaked 12th Division Captain Kisuke Urahara and Kidō Captain Tessai Tsukabishi.
In order to regain his Shinigami powers after being stripped of them, Ichigo Kurosaki has his Chain of Fate severed by Tessai Tsukabishi under orders from Kisuke Urahara in order to force him to regain his lost power before becoming a Hollow. Ichigo is only able to succeed once he begins transforming into a Hollow. Ichigo's transformation happens out of sequence, his mask forming first instead of his body breaking apart and reforming, a sign of his resistance to becoming a Hollow, and he emerges as a Shinigami wearing a Hollow's mask, which he breaks off. After he arrived in Soul Society, the Hollow mask reappears on his person on several occasions, even though he repeatedly discarded it, to block mortal and fatal blows. In his fight against Byakuya Kuchiki, Ichigo's inner Hollow took some control of his body, causing his mask to reform around his face. Ichigo is able to regain control and tear off the mask before the transformation completes.
Ichigo later discovers that there are other Shinigami who have acquired Hollow powers besides himself. Shinji Hirako, a "boy" carrying a Zanpakutō and a Hollow mask, reveals that these renegade Shinigami call themselves the Visored. Shinji tries to convince Ichigo to join their group, saying that only he can teach Ichigo how to control his Hollow form and keep it from taking over and destroying everything Ichigo cares about.Ichigo initially refuses Shinji's offer, but relents after realizing he can't control his inner Hollow on his own. Ichigo insists that he's merely using them to learn how to control his inner Hollow.
To accomplish this task, Shinji knocks Ichigo unconscious so he can face his inner Hollow on common ground. As this happens, Ichigo's body transforms into an uncontrollable Hollow form, which the Visored take turns fighting in order to keep it in check. Ichigo eventually manages to overcome and subdue his inner Hollow (in 62 minutes and 30 seconds) , and begins training with the Visored to have better control over his new powers. Ichigo abandons his training when the town is threatened, despite having little control over his new powers compared to the more experienced Visored. It is later shown that the Visored are preparing for battle with unknown intentions.
Fake Karakura Town arcEdit
When the Shinigami begin to lose their respective battles and the Arrancar begin to mount a comeback that culminates in Aizen's escape, the Visored appear on the battlefield. Shinji briefly greets Aizen in a mocking manner, and then asks his fellow Visored if there is anyone in the Gotei 13 they would like to speak to. He ends up in a short argument with Hiyori, followed by the others expressing their disinterest in speaking to their former comrades, with the exception of Lisa, who flash steps away.Shinji then approaches Yamamoto to greet him, to which the commander asks if he has come for revenge. Shinji plainly tells him against Aizen, yes, but that he holds no such ambitions against the Gotei 13. Yamamoto asks Shinji if he is right to assume they are then allies, to which Shinji replies that they aren't. However, he clarifies that although they are not on the Gotei 13's side, they are against Aizen and are allies of Ichigo. He then returns to the other Visored, who bring forth their masks when Hooleer spews forth a huge amount of Gillian class Menos from its mouth. They then attack the Gillian, showing off each of their powers. Shinji, however, confronts Aizen and tells him it is time to finish this off. Before his attack can reach, Kaname Tōsen slashes at Shinji before the latter starts fighting Gin Ichimaru.
Mashiro is defeated by Wonderweiss Margela, who then battles Kensei, only to later leave the fight to attack Yamamoto, leaving Kensei's fate unknown. Hachi sacrifices one of his arms to defeat Baraggan and cannot use his powers to his fullest, and Hiyori is bifurcated by Gin after being enraged by one of Aizen's taunts. Later, after Ichigo's return from Hueco Mundo, Shinji, Rose, Love and Lisa engage Aizen to protect Ichigo from his Shikai. Aizen effortlessly cuts down Rose, Love and Lisa. Shinji, along with Shunsui Kyōraku, Suì-Fēng, and Tōshirō Hitsugaya, mistakenly think that they have finally killed Aizen, but it turns out to be an illusion that tricked them into stabbing Momo Hinamori. When Shinji and the others try to stop an enraged Hitsugaya from charging at Aizen, the latter tells them that they're all wide open and defeats all of them with one slash each, sending Shinji and his comrades falling into the town. With that, the only Visored still able to fight is Ichigo.
The Lost Substitute Shinigami arcEdit
At some point after Aizen's defeat, Shinji, Rose, and Kensei rejoin the Gotei 13, resuming their former positions as Captains.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arcEdit
The rest of the Visored have decided to stay in the Human World, seemingly in Karakura Town. Mashiro's whereabouts currently remain unknown.
There are eight known Visored aside from Ichigo Kurosaki. Five of them are men and the other three are women. Three Visored speak kansai-ben, a dialect spoken in Osaka and Kyoto. All Visored are former Shinigami Captains or Lieutenants from approximately 100 years before the main storyline. Ichigo Kurosaki is considered one of their number unofficially more or less by the group's admission.
(† = confirmed death)
|Shinji Hirako||None||Sakanade||Double-mouthed Pharaoh mask with a short-flowing hood beneath the back of his neck||Active|
|Love Aikawa||Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi||Tengumaru||Traditional Ogre-shaped Oni mask with two small horns at its forehead||Active|
|Mashiro Kuna||Kensei Muguruma||Unknown||Grasshopper-shaped mask with two goggle-shaped eyes and four slits in its mouth area; and small antenna.||Active|
|Kensei Muguruma||Mashiro Kuna||Tachikaze||Flat hockey mask with six slitted eye holes in two columns and extensions that frame his head||Active|
|Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi||Love Aikawa||Kinshara||Plague doctor mask; Unique in the sense that his protrudes from his face instead of being flat||Active|
|Hiyori Sarugaki||None||Kubikiri Orochi||Wide skull mask with a prominent horn centered on its forehead and a row of diamond-shaped markings over its eyebrows||Active|
|Hachigen Ushōda||None||Unknown||Traditional Balinese demon mask with tusks and feather-shaped spikes at the top of its head||Active|
|Lisa Yadōmaru||None||Haguro Tonbo||Diamond-shaped mask with a cross-shaped hole in the middle and its top tip bending over her head||Active|
|Ichigo Kurosaki||None||Zangetsu||Narrow skull mask with ten red stripes spread across the left side of his mask. These are later replaced by two vertical stripes.||Inactive|
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Hollow Mask: The Hollow mask which covers the head. Unlike the masks of the Arrancars, the masks of the Visoreds are undamaged. The Visored remain in complete control while wearing their masks (unlike Ichigo's early unstable transformations). According to Aizen, the fusion of the two spiritual entities allows these Shinigami to reach power levels far surpassing that of either a Hollow or a Shinigami.
The Visored use their Hollow powers to augment their existing Shinigami abilities, granting them massive increases in speed, stamina, and strength.
The only known side effect in donning their Hollow masks is the specific time limit, which varies from user to user. Fortunately, there is a remedy to this problem: Training (but to what extent is currently unknown); Most of the Visored appear to have a limit of three minutes after a century of training, while Ichigo has expanded his limit from 11 seconds to several minutes in a relatively short period of time, so the factors influencing the limits of the masks are still unclear. Every time their masks are used, the Visored's voices echo as a consequence of both their normal voice and their inner Hollow's voice speaking simultaneously.
- Enhanced Speed: Visored gain a great boost in their speed while Hollowfied. Kensei is able to throw a rapid amount of punches against a Gillian.
- Enhanced Strength: The Visored have shown great strength while using their masks. Love was able to rip a Gillian class Menos in half with his bare hands after the Visored first arrived in the Fake Karakura Town
- Cero: The Visoreds can fire Ceros just like the Arrancars. Though their origins of Arrancar and Visored differ, the may essentially be the same. Visored gain access to certain Hollow abilities, such as the Cero blast; However, only Shinji, Hiyori and Mashiro have been seen using it.
- Power Augmentation: With the acquisition of the mask through the subjugation of one's inner Hollow, Visored gain access to an additional and separate source of power - aside from the Shinigami powers they already possess - Hollow powers. The accumulation of both powers greatly augments their powers beyond what a Shinigami and/or Hollow alone would be capable of. Members of the Visored drastically increase their combat abilities by donning their masks and hollowfying. The length of time they can remain hollowfied varies with each person.
- Mask Protection: Body damage can seemingly be ignored while wearing their masks, as demonstrated by Ichigo's Hollow during his unwilling transformations.
- Reiryoku Enhancement: Visored have dual spiritual power of both Shinigami and Hollow, which enhances their abilities. While watching Ichigo fight with Grimmjow, Tier Harribel noted that the volume and nature of Ichigo's spiritual power made it seem like she was watching a fight between two Espada. Additionally, Ulquiorra Cifer commented that his reiatsu was almost exact as Espada's.
The Visored's Zanpakutō function in the same manner as those of standard Shinigami. So far, only Mashiro and Hachigen have yet to release their Zanpakutō.
- Although Ichigo dons his mask by "ripping" it from his face, other Visored appear to have different ways of summoning their Hollow mask (i.e. Hiyori musters it with mere thought, Hachi "slides" it on with one or both hands).
- Most Visored tend to remove their masks to buy time for re-usage.