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"Sōsuke, what have you done to these fine Souls? Have you no honor left as a lieutenant of Captain Hirako's division? Speak up! I wish to hear your words; even if they are rotten lies!"
— Aiko speaks to Aizen in her final moments

Template:Character Infobox Shinigami/Visored/Arrancar (Prodigy) Aiko Iba (愛子 射場, Iba Aiko) was the former 3rd Seat of the Zero Division before her death at the hands of Kaname Tōsen, upon interferring in a fellow subordinate, Shinji Hirako's Hollowfication. She was the older sister of Tetsuzaemon Iba.

Appearance

Aiko Full

Aiko's full appearance in the anime

Aiko Iba Manga

Aiko's appearance in the manga

Aiko was a fairly short Shinigami, being only 5'2", making her eight inches shorter than Testuzaemon, which often resulted in confusion over whom was older. Aiko was a considerably attractive woman, with long black hair and bangs held back by hair pins on either side of her head, almost like pig-tails, which she was noted to wear in a loose bun when relaxing, and gold-ember eyes that were known to shine merrily when around Testuzaemon or Shinji.

Aiko refused to wear the traditional Soul Reaper uniform, having been noted to have said that it was like they were all going to a funeral. Instead, Aiko was permitted to wear a light orange kimono over a white one, with a light pink and dark blue obi. She wore white socks and zōri. When relaxing, Aiko tended to wear either just the white kimono and getaor just her usual dark blue kimono with her hair in a loose bun. Aiko kept her Zanapakutō hidden in her left sleeve, similarly to Nanao Ise.

Personality

Aiko was a gentle and amiable woman. She lent her support whenever and to whoever she could, as when she is off-duty she is seen speaking with one of the Captains or another Soul Reaper about personal problems. She was well-known for this and her belief that for the Gotei to work effiecently and effectively as a whole, every Shinigami must be satisfied with their line of work. Aiko was also extremely loyal, a trait she gained from growing up with Tetsuzaemon, and was a good friend of Kaname Tōsen. There's the possibility she may have known Sajin Komamura, but this is unknown. Her loyalty to the Gotei appears to be larger than being just for her division, as Shinji mentioned that she would never put her life on the line unless it was for the entire Gotei.

Aiko was often naive in terms of purchases she made, as she once spent over half of money Shinji had given her on candy for Jūshirō Ukitake.

History

Aiko signed up for the Ninth Division, but Kensei Muguruma didn't approve of her off-duty activities and so she was denied from the division.

Plot

Turn Back the Pendulum Arc

Upon the defeats of Shinji Hirako, Love Aikawa, Rōjūro Ōtoribashi, Hachigen Ushōda, and Lisa Yadōmaru, Aiko appears out of the shadows, demanding of Aizen what he has done to "such fine souls" and if he has any honor left of being a member of Shinji's division. When Aizensays nothing, she demands of him to speak up, and that she "wished to hear his words" even if they were "rotten lies". Aizen then precedes to explain of his experiments and shortly after, commands Kaname Tōsen to kill her. She, unexpecting of the attack, falls victim to Tōsen. However, just before she dies, she manages to throw a push knife and successfully cut Tōsen before she died.

She was later mentioned during Kisuke Urahara's trial, in which Sōsuke framed him for her murder as well. A funeral was held, and all of the Captains, including Genryūsai attended.

Fake Karakura Town Arc

Shortly after Shinji approached Sōsuke Aizen, he demanded of Sōsuke if he remembered "the woman he killed". Aizen seems surprised, as Shinji explains that Sōsuke killed a "sweet young woman with a heart of gold" and that, alongwith getting even, Shinji was going to avenge her as well.

Powers & Abilities

Expert Swordsmanship Specialist: Aiko was supposedly well-known for her swordsmanship capabilities, and was once considered for the position of captain, according to Guren Yamashita.

Average Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Aiko struggled in this field, something that she tried to improve, but did so with little progress.

Average Kidō: Aiko was suffecient with Kidō, but disliked using it, supposedly because it drew too much attention in her opinion.

Average Shunpō/Sonido: Aiko was of only an average level with Shunpō because of her stuggle to control her spiritual pressure and concentrate it.

High Intellect: Aiko makes up for the abeforementioned qualities with her high, almost genius intellect that borders on her love for reading. She is a keen anaylyst, supposedly capable of anaylyzing any situation in less than a minute.

Enhanced Durability: Aiko had a large amount of stamina, thanks to her training with Guren Yamashita and Susumu Shōta.

Enhanced Strength: Aiko's spiritual pressure was immense, and her physcial strength was well-enhanced as well. She was capable of throwing push-knives with a considerable amount of speed and strength behind them.

Trivia

  • Aiko counceled Jūshiro Ukitake at one point.
  • Aiko's hobby was flower-arranging (Ikebana) and she took part in the Ikebana class hosted by Retsu Unohana, despite not being a member of her division, being a good friend of Unohana.
  • Aiko means "love child" and her nickname "Ai" means love.
  • While her Zanpakutō was never revealed, it was hinted at that she was stronger that she appeared, a trait she shares with Kisuke Urahara and Yoruichi Shihōin.

Quotes

(Personal Quote) "What's the purpose of living forever, when you have to live alone?"

(To Aizen) "Sōsuke, what have you done to these fine Souls? Have you no honor left as a lieutenant of Captain Hirako's division? Speak up! I wish to hear your words; even if they are rotten lies!"

(Shinji Hirako about Aiko) "Even those who have passed away remain in this world, unable to leave it. That is the way their hearts work, bound to those who live on without them."