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Suburo Hatakeyama (畠山三郎, Hatakeyama Saburo) is the Captain of the 8th Division in the Gotei 13.
He appears like a samurai, and unlike most shinigami, he doesn't wear standard Shinigami robes. Instead he wears a thick vest and traditional shinobi robes underneath. His hair is snow white and he wears it back in a ponytail. He caries his zanpakuto on his waist like most shinigami.
Despite the fact that he left Soul Society for many years, Suburo had maintained an allegiance with his home. During Aizen's invasion of Karakura, he helped fend off the invading hollows in Soul Society in order to protect the Rukongai. When the Gotei 13 found itself in need of a new Captain Commander after the Amatarou Omaha's promotion, Suburo volunteered to look for Byakko so that he could become Amatarou's successor, after turning down the position himself. His reason for refusing the position was, among other things, that he felt unworthy to take the role, since he had failed to stay loyal to Soul Society. After he found Byakko, and began to suspect that he might be assisting Sydonay Senseirei, he made it clear that he would kill him if he betrayed the Gotei 13. However, once it became clear that Byakko was still loyal to Soul Society, and later accepted the title of Captain Commander, Suburo served as his most trusted adviser, loyal confidante, and personal spy into the dealings of Sydonay and Soul Society's enemies.
The Hatakeyama are a branch family of the Kuchiki, though possessing little social or political clout beyond that afforded by their servile position. As the firstborn son, the young Saburo became Kuchiki Byakuya's personal retainer. Whereas Byakuya was celebrated as a prodigy, Saburo's hard work was often ignored by all but his master. The two shared a relationship that was as brotherly as can be, given their positions. When Byakuya was accepted into the Gotei 13--as an officer of Ukitake Jushiro's 13th Division--he refused to let the "Fuujin and Raijin Duo of the Spiritual Arts Academy" be separated. He and Saburo were soon appointed to the top seats in 6th Division, where they were regarded as the most talented Captain/Vice-Captain pair of the Gotei 13 in their time.
Byakuya's wife, Hisana, often snuck out to Rukongai to find the sister she abandoned long ago and Saburo took it upon himself to protect her. During this time, Saburo met the love of his life, Mikata Chihiro (美方千尋). Chihiro's family lived in District 42 of North Rukongai, Seisankei (静山系; Quiet Mountain Path). Lacking the power to marry a commoner into the family, like Byakuya had done, Saburo was hesitant to approach her and would have pined away in silence if not for Hisana's encouragement. What followed was a tragically short romance.
One day, the Class-A Hollow known as "Sea Dog" infiltrated Soul Society and rampaged across North Rukongai. Occupied by the duties of his role as Byakuya's retainer, Saburo was unable to join the battle in time to save Chihiro. The rare flower from the mortal realm that he had given her--a token of his regard, now crumpled and bloodstained--was all that marked her passing; Sea Dog's victims were lost in the ether. A dispatch of Shinigami did little more than drive Sea Dog into the surrounding hills. Saburo personally gave chase and managed to deliver only a shallow blow before the Hollow vanished as mysteriously as he appeared.
Possessed by grief, Saburo found solace in the pursuit of revenge. Forsaking his family and all the responsibilities of his noble blood, Saburo sought a position in the Gotei 13 which would allow him the necessary freedoms. Byakuya--who was by now also a widower--was understanding of his subordinate's wishes, so he granted Saburo a humiliating transfer to 12th Division. Captain Kurotsuchi was mostly unconcerned with the administration of his division, so there was little supervision. Furthermore, as a Senior Officer, Saburo could secure a position as a Special Investigator for the Research Institute.
Saburo now spends the majority of his time tracking down the most powerful Hollows, with particular interest in those who display undocumented abilities, always hoping for another encounter with Sea Dog.
Powers & Abilities
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: While hating the concept of having to engage in a fight, Suburo is presumably one of the most proficient swordsmen in all of Soul Society at the current time. He is a highly adaptable combatant as his sword has allowed him to become ambidextrous, meaning that he is able to switch hands when using it. Suburo also swings with more strength in his right hand then his left. However, he can easily switch or balance the strength between his two hands, much to the surprise of his opponent. Suburo maintains that he only uses his sword in situations where his kido or fists is too difficult to use. He claims that he does not use them together on a regular basis.
Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: As the former third seat of the Sixth Division and the current Captain of the 8th Division, he was required to become highly proficient in hand-to-hand combat. His skills in this area have been seen great enough to force even the likes of Sea Dog to fight seriously as shown from one of their regular confrontations. During his days as a Shinigami of the sixth division, while only a third seat officer at the time, his skills were great enough to effortlessly take down several Shinigami-deserters unarmed.
Kidō Expert: Suburo, like most captains, excels at Kidō. Suburo is a Kidō master as stated by Captain Hiromasa and Vice-Captain Hiroshi. His abilities reach to such a pinnacle that he can devise ways to use multiple spells in conjunction with each other to make a unique way in which to attack and incapacitate opponents.
Raiden (雷電; Thunder and Lightning) is a lightning-element zanpakuto handed down through the Hatakeyama clan from father to son. Its sealed state is identifiable by a zigzag-shaped tsuba, resembling a lightning bolt. The spirit of Raiden manifests as a large cat comprised of fire and lightning. His world is a limitless plain of tall grass under a stormy sky. Raiden speaks in thunder, which Saburo can understand.
- Shikai: Raiden's Shikai release is "Tenheki!" (天劈: "Split the heavens!"), in which the blade becomes pure energy. While not the most powerful of its type in Soul Society, it is highly versatile in the right hands. Saburo's style of swordsmanship utilizes quick, precise attacks and an economy of movement, and is therefore well-suited to the efficient use of Raiden. Saburo can strike multiple targets with a single slash.
- Bankai: Jindaiko no Raiden (陣太鼓の雷電: War Drums of Thunder and Lightning) and may not at first appear to be a weapon. However, each of the eight drums is in fact a battery for large amounts of spirit energy, which can be used up and replenished as necessary. Saburo has developed eight distinct techniques (not necessarily corresponding to the amount of energy required for use).
- Bankai Special Ability:
- Ikko (一鼓; The first beat of the war drum): An omnidirectional sound wave of destructive energy.
- Niten'ichi Denken (二天一電剣; Two heavens as one, Lightning Blades): Saburo's favored technique, twin "swords" made of lightning. Their individual power is equivalent to Raiden's released state, but the inefficiency is countered by the ready supply of energy stored in the drums. Range is not an issue, as the energy can whip out as it slashes.
- Tajuu Kyuuden (多重球電: Multiple Ball Lightning): This technique generates a swarm of explosive ball lightning. They are not particularly fast, but can be directed to follow a target.
- Raiju no Yari (雷獣の槍: Spear of the Thunder Beast): Spirit particles compressed into the physical form of a jumonji-yari (十文字槍; cross-headed spear). As the charge builds, the blade gradually transforms from plain-appearing metal to jagged lightning. Upon striking, stored energy from the drums is expelled in a single blast, but power is dependent upon how much energy is available at the time.
- Kekkaijutsu Ori (結界術檻; Barrier Technique, Cage): With a parallel alignment, the drums discharge a field of electricity to contain the target. The more drums in formation, the stronger the cage; it lasts for only a limited time before the drums are drained completely.
- Kekkaijutsu Tate (結界術盾; Barrier Technique, Shield): With a planar alignment, the drums generate a wall of sound to withstand attack. The more drums in formation, the stronger the shield; it lasts for only a limited time before the drums are drained completely.
- Kekkaijutsu Onkei (結界術恩恵; Barrier Technique, Blessing): By breaking down the physical form of a drum itself, Saburo can assimilate the stored energy into his own spirit body and rapidly heal injuries mid-battle. The more grievous the wound, the more drums required. Drums cannot be reformed after being consumed, thus limiting the overall power of the Bankai.
- Nare Gouon (鳴轟音; Thundering Howl): The drums line up, each one facing the next. Saburo focuses his reishi and strikes the first drum, which amplifies the force and passes it on to the next, and so on down the line. At the final drum, the amplified energy is released in a destructive wave. Depending upon the number of drums available, this technique can be Saburo's most potent.
|By Division:||1st Hiromasa Akamatsu · 2nd Nyan Kanagaki · 3rd vacant · 4th Mokin Kurushimi · 5th Jonsuno Kanagaki · 6th vacant · 7th Matthew Toshiro · 8th Suburo Hatakeyama · 9th Shuk'la Verd · 10th Yushio Miyasaki · 11th Kenpachi Igarashi · 12th Mujihi Akudama · 13th Junichiro Nishihara · Kidō Corps Ryan Getsueikirite|
|By Division:||1st vacant · 2nd vacant · 3rd Roka Asari · 4th vacant · 5th Xander Kanagaki · 6th vacant · 7th Kisho Iwahashi · 8th vacant · 9th vacant · 10th Hiroshi Miranda · 11th Manzo Eromalc · 12th Kentaro Ashikaga · 13th vacant · Kidō Corps Jessica Getsueikirite|