|Affiliation||Royal Guard, Soul Society, Kuchiki Family|
|Occupation||Captain of the Royal Guard|
|Previous Occupation||Captain of the Sixth Division|
|Previous Team||Sixth Division|
|Previous Partner||Sōjun Kuchiki|
|Relatives||Sōjun Kuchiki (son)|
Byakuya Kuchiki (grandson)
Hisana Kuchiki (daughter-in-law)
Rukia Kuchiki (adopted granddaughter)
Raian Getsueikirite (adopted grandson)
Ginrei Kuchiki (朽木 銀嶺, Kuchiki Ginrei) is Byakuya Kuchiki's grandfather. A century before the start of the canon series, he was the Captain of the 6th Division and the Head of the Kuchiki family; Byakuya succeeded him in both positions. He is now the Supreme Commander of the Royal Guard as well as the High Marshall of the Ring of One.
He has the appearance of an elderly man with slate gray eyes, a white mustache, and long white hair. He wears the standard captain uniform along with a white scarf made by the master weaver, Tsujishirō Kuroemon III. The scarf is made from the silver-white, windflower light silk (ginpaku kazahana no uzuginu) and is a family heirloom that is handed down from generation to generation and is given to each Kuchiki family head. The scarf alone, is worth enough to buy ten mansions in Seireitei. He wears a short-sleeved captain's haori and fingerless black gloves that cover the back of his hand and loop up to attach at the base of his fingers. He, however, does not wear the aristocratic hair piece (Kenseikan) that Byakuya does.
Ginrei Kuchiki is the 27th head of the noble Kuchiki clan, one of the four great noble families in Soul Society. As such, Ginrei acts in an aristocratic manner — he seems always serene and apathetic towards other people. He is also extremely calm, and is noticably quiet, rarely speaking unless to make his intentions known or make a point. He is noted at being extremely patient and not given to rash actions and disdains it as a flaw in others. He believes that power must be respected and mastered and that those incapable of knowing their own heart are not capable of mastery of their own power.
Ginrei is a very perceptive man and is fully aware of the limits of his abilities and can see the skill or potential in others and what they must do to attain that fullness of that potential. Ginrei strongly believes in law and order. As the head of one of the great noble families and as a captain in the Gotei 13, he always works hard for a peaceful society. He would sooner work within the confines of the system than engage in actions that would disrupt the balance of law, even if he believes that something is unjust or wrong.
Ginrei was present several centuries ago during a rebellion that caused a civil war in Soul Society. He kept his son-in-law Kōga Kuchiki as somewhat of a protege and grew concerned at his continued reliance on his Zanpakutō's power. He was present when Kōga was praised for his actions as helping to further the cause of the victory by Captain-Commander Yamamoto. He would later in his office ask Kōga why he would face the rebel forces alone to which he was told that Kōga believed that he would be able to handle the rebels with just his Zanpakutō and himself as combatants. Upon hearing this, Ginrei told him that when one is granted great power, the most important part of mastering it is his heart. Kōga remains confused until Ginrei further explains that those who have great power must know how to control their own power, and sometimes be controlled by the power. In order to truly create such a relationship, it is necessary to have a strong heart that keeps one from becoming overconfident. He then told Kōga that he was well aware of how great his power was, but he still lacked the heart to master it.
He later watched alongside Captain-Commander Yamamoto as Kōga achieves another victory against the rebels. Afterwards in his office, Kōga gives his status report, but Ginrei keeps his back to him and doesn't respond. Later that day Ginrei is approached by his daughter who tells him of her concern that Kōga is changing; Ginrei tells her not to worry about him and that he is a smart man with power vastly superior to his own and that he only needs to time to fully understand that. Sometime later, Kōga is given leadership over a special contingent under the order of Captain-Commander Yamamoto. When he presented the news to Ginrei, he expected his father-in-law to be thrilled and proud for him, but Ginrei plainly tells him that he makes sure to not dirty their family name. Ginrei goes on to tell him not to misinterpret the Captain-Commander's intentions.
Not long after becoming the head of this new special force, Kōga is set up by a faction on his side not wanting him to claim victory in the civil war. When they proceeded to frame him and arrest him, he stood to face them. Ginrei appeared and asked what had transpired; the faction leaders told him what "supposedly" took place, but Ginrei wasn't convinced. The testimony of one of the critically injured victims sealed Kōga's fate. Kōga then tries to swear his innocence, but to no avail. He prepared to fight, but Ginrei asked him stand down and accept imprisonment for the time being. Later that night, Ginrei approached an imprisoned Kōga telling him that a verdict has been decided. Kōga was to be suspended from his Gotei 13 Seat for the next 100 years, and that his Zanpakutō, Muramasa, is a threat to the peace of Soul Society, and thus its powers will be nullified. When Kōga asks Ginrei if he actually believes them, Ginrei states that he didn't believe any of the accusations against him, but he has to understand what is happening. Ginrei states that those in position of power have a problem with his Muramasa and its ability. He further explains that they aren't afraid of Kōga himself, but of Muramasa getting out of control. Kōga was confused at this issue, but Ginrei explained that he told him before that a person with great power must have a strong heart. Kōga had been too confident and reliant with his Zanpakutō's powers, thus he has rushed into all his conflicts not realizing the repercussions of his actions. Ginrei told him that Captain-Commander Yamamoto was concerned he would lose control thus the reason he gave him the position as "Captain of the Secret Contingent". Kōga explains that he had been framed, but Ginrei notes that it was Kōga's own overconfidence that caused his current predicament. Ginrei then told the upset Kōga to calm himself as there was still time before the sentence was to be carried out and must be patient. Ginrei leaves to find a way to fix the situation before it could get worse.
Much to Ginrei's dismay, Kōga broke out of jail and killed the men responsible for his framing. Ginrei later found him and tried to pursue Kōga to pay for his crimes, but instead, Kōga had a mental breakdown, causing him to view all in Soul Society as people jealous of his power and enemies that must be killed. After Kōga's assault on Soul Society reached crisis levels, Ginrei worked with Yamamoto to finally seal Kōga away. Much of the victory was thanks to Kōga's disharmony with his Zanpakutō, making Kōga unable to access Muramasa's power.
Years later, when Byakuya succeeded him as head of the Kuchiki clan, Ginrei also revealed to Byakuya the secret truth of Kōga, passing on the duty to Byakuya to finish off Kōga should he ever escape.
Approximately 110 years ago, Ginrei, as Captain of the 6th Division, was present at the promotion ceremony with the other captains as the newly-appointed 12th Division Captain Kisuke Urahara arrives to the meeting.
Later Ginrei arrived at the Kuchiki estate and watched his grandson, Byakuya train. He congratulated Byakuya on his skill at swordsmanship. Byakuya was surprised to see his grandfather, noting that he had come to stay at the estate rather then the Sixth Division barracks. He then told Byakuya that someone had come to visit and play with him. At first Byakuya was confused as to who it was until he saw that it is Yoruichi Shihōin, Captain of the 2nd Division and Commander of the Onmitsukidō. With Ginrei being the Head of the Kuchiki Family and Yoruichi being the Head of the Shihōin Family, they were well-connected and Yoruichi has been somewhat a playmate to the reluctant Byakuya. Ginrei watched as the two argued and entered into a competitive game of tag, using Shunpo. He appeared to be exasperated by Byakuya's rash and hot-headed nature, mentioning that he would be a great leader if he could learn to control himself.
Nine years later, Ginrei was present at an emergency meeting called by Captain-Commander Yamamoto. When Yamamoto decided to create an investigation team to locate the missing 9th Division squad members, he ordered Ginrei to guard Seireitei alongside 13th Division Captain Jūshirō Ukitake and 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku.
Powers and Abilities
Flash Steps Expert: As a former captain he is shown capable of using flash steps with expert skill.
Kidō Expert: As a former captain and now the Supreme Commander of the Royal Guard, Ginrei has capable skill in Kidō, being able to effectively use low-level Kidō without incantation. Ginrei's vast knowledge of Kidō is so great that he can perform them without calling out a name, while retaining its great potential power, whereas most users require a name to do so, if not a full incantation. He is also able to produce immensely powerful barriers to protect him from all but the strongest of dangers, and preform seals.
Keen Intellect: Ginrei is a very intelligent man. He is able to quickly determined the basics behind an opponent's power and its weakness. He can also use this information to quickly create an effective counter. Immense Spiritual Energy: As a former head of a noble clan and captain, Ginrei has great spiritual energy. His energy and control over it is great enough to repel powerful hypnotic spells.
Immense Spiritual Power: A noble by blood and of considerable age, Ginrei possesses great spiritual power considering he was once a 6th Division Captain, Head of the Kuchiki, and is now the Head-Captain of the Royal Guard. Byakuya Kuchiki, his grandson and future Captain of the Sixth Division, states that Ginrei's power vastly surpasses his own. He displays a massive reiatsu, even after being so old. His reiatsu is pink in color. His skill and control at using his spiritual energy allows him to perform a variety of abilities. Being one of the oldest members of Soul Society, Ginrei's spiritual power has a similar effect as his Zanpakutō, as it is elemental representative of water. He tends to glow with a cool blueish aura which has the potential to cause rain to fall and drastically cool down the environment around him without the use of his Zanpakutō. Ginrei possesses an exceedingly powerful Reiatsu, capable of making the captain level Shinigami of the Gotei 13's calibre sweat in fear and paralyse Lieutenant level shinigami with a simple look.
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Ginrei is an immensely powerful combatant, even with only his sealed Zanpakutō. Back when he was only a Captain of the Sixth Division, he was able to easily fight at Adjuchas-level Arrancar and take down a large group of hollows attacking him at once. He was also shown to hold his own against his son-in-law, Koga, who, at the time, had higher spiritual energy than Ginrei. His skills are very versatile, able to use various bladed weapons with high proficiency.
Enhanced Strength: Even in his physically withered state and old age, Ginrei is deceptively strong. With a single downward chop, he is capable of snapping a small bolder in two.
Umihebiseika (海蛇精華, Sea Serpent Glory): its appearance is greatly similar to Byakuya's Senbonzakura, with a rectangular hilt and white handle.
- Shikai: It's shikai is released with the command "Drown" (身投げ, minage). According to Ginrei, Umihebiseika is the only Dual-type zanpakuto in all of Soul Society. It is called that because it both a Water-type and a Boil-type.
- Shikai Special Ability: In its Shikai, Umihebiseika's blade melts into a river of water, produced by the blade, which then floats away from the hilt, leaving only the sword's handle in Ginrei's hand, greatly resembling his grandson's, Byakuya's, Senbonzarkua shikai release. By swinging Umihebiseika's hilt, Ginrei can control the water stream at will, allowing him to attack opponents at a distance and break through almost any defense. Once released Umihebiseika has two abilities. It's most often used is the ability to clump together water vapor in the air to create endless amounts of water for his attacks. He can also make use of existing water sources. It's second ability is to heat up anything the blade comes into contact with. Usually he will use this ability to heat up the water that his sword controls. He also uses it to heat the blood of those he cuts with his zanpakuto. This can causes his foes' blood to boil, killing them.
- Kaiku (海区, Ocean sector): This technique creates a circling vortex of water that protects Ginrei from external attacks. Due to his zanpakuto's power, he can make this shield materialize anywhere his reiatsu reaches. He can also create a dome around himself to protecting him from all sides. He can boil the water in this technique to vaporize any oncoming attack.
- Namibamen (浪場面, Wave Scene): Ginrei will super-heat the water of his shikai, forming it into an enormous wave that consumes and boils and enemy alive.
- Sakubamen (朔場面, Moon Scene): Ginrei forms a large amount of water and covers an entire area, with massive waves, crushing the opponents. He then forms the water into a giant orb, rather than let it flow out like the shikai normally does. He can then use this dome as a field for battle. Ginrei acts as the center of the giant dome of water. The dome shifts in the same direction he moves, making it difficult for his target to escape. This technique gives Ginrei great field advantage as he can breathe and freely move underwater, while his target suffocates.
- Bankai: Not Yet Revealed. He has stated that his shikai has been so effective that he hasn't needed his Bankai since he first became a Captain.