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The Vizards

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The Vizards (Vizored in English Dub) are a group of rogue Shinigami who have illegally acquired Hollow powers.

While the term visored is spelled in the manga using kanji meaning masked army (仮面の軍勢, kamen no gunzei), it is pronounced as the English visored (ヴァイザード, vaizādo). In several fan translations of the anime and manga, they are referred to as the "Vizard", an archaic word meaning mask. Their current leader is Seireitou Kuchiki.

Overview

The Vizards are the antithesis to the Arrancar, Shinigami who have obtained Hollow powers.[1] Having begun as Shinigami, the Vizards appear entirely human, and barring 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 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 "hollowification".[2][3]

It is unclear what the visoreds are after. The current members of the visoreds have been shown to be former captain or lieutenant class 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. The visoreds are also rejected by hollows, due to their former status as shinigami. It is because of this that it can be presumed that the only side the visoreds are on is their own. Regardless, they seem to be valuable allies-to-be in the battle against Sōsuke Aizen's army of arrancars, as Kisuke Urahara mentioned.[4] The visoreds have not shown any sort of hierarchy, seeming to prefer a loose-knit organization.
File:Then and now.PNG

Plot synposis

The existence of shinigami/hollow hybrids is first hinted at early in the series. In order to regain his shinigami powers after being stripped of them, Ichigo Kurosaki has his Chain of Fate severed by 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 visoreds. 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 a uncontrollable hollow form, which the visoreds take turns fighting in order to keep it in check. Ichigo eventually manages to overcome and subdue his inner hollow (in 62 min and 30 sec) , and begins training with the visoreds to have better control 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 visoreds. It is later shown that the visoreds are preparing for battle with unknown intentions.

Abilities

File:ShinjiMaskAnimeEp140.jpg

The visoreds use their hollow powers to augment their existing shinigami abilities, granting them massive increases in speed, stamina, and strength. They also gain access to some hollow abilities, such as the cero blast. Bodily harm can seemingly be ignored while wearing their masks, as demonstrated by Ichigo's hollow during his unwilling transformations. The hollow mask can only be maintained for a certain period before its effects wear off: Ichigo can only hold his transformation for short periods (eleven seconds at first), while the other visoreds can go up to several hours without tiring.

The visoreds' zanpakutō function in the same manner as those of standard shinigami; however, none of them have explicitly used their releases in combat yet, excluding Ichigo and Kensei. The visoreds seem to prefer their hollow-like powers to their shinigami abilities. The visoreds remains in complete control while wearing their masks, unlike Ichigo's early unstable transformations. As suggested by Aizen, the fusion of the two spiritual entities allows these shinigami to reach levels of power far surpassing that of either hollow or shinigami, or both.

While it is made clear how Ichigo gained his hollow powers, it is not shown exactly how the other visoreds gained theirs. But, Aizen is the one who "created" the visoreds. Shinji hints that Ichigo's conflict with his inner hollow is a common symptom, however. Aside from the dangerous method used by Urahara, the Orb of Distortion could allow a shinigami to use hollow powers, but it has only been shown doing the opposite. However, Urahara is known to have used the orb to try to return the visoreds to their previous selves, although the first attempt failed, him using the orb did turn them into more complete hybrids which allowed them to eventually control their new power.

Characters

There are nine known visoreds aside from Ichigo Kurosaki and Ryun Toshiro. Six of these are men and the other three are women. Three visoreds speak kansai-ben, a dialect spoken in Osaka and Kyoto. All visoreds are former shinigami captains or lieutenants from approximately 100 years before the main storyline.

Seireitou Kuchiki

After training with them and then joining up with them, they decide to elect him as the leader of the Vizards.

Shinji Hirako

Shinji Hirako (平子 真子, Hirako Shinji) is the former captain of the 5th Division, preceding his lieutenant Sōsuke Aizen, and the unofficial leader of the visoreds. While he initially appears trying to recruit Ichigo into their ranks, he is shown giving orders once Ichigo decides to accept the offer.[5] An early design of Shinji can be seen in the first chapter's cover art, making it clear he was planned well before his introduction.[6] Shinji's character is somewhat comical, adding a bit of levity to situations that are otherwise serious. He seems to like annoying his associate, Hiyori Sarugaki, which usually earns him a slap from one of her sandals. He also appears to have a history of referring to cute girls he meets as his 'first love', complete with a deadpan look on his face despite the obvious lie (he apparently never did this with Hiyori, further annoying her). One of his previous acclaimed crushes was Lisa Yadōmaru, a fellow visored, and his current is Orihime Inoue.[7] During several points in the anime, Shinji's outfit is depicted to look like Lupin the III, likely as a homage on the part of the animators.

Shinji's hollow mask resembles a pharaoh's mask. Shinji is very skilled with his hollow powers, using cero blasts to easily deal with Grimmjow Jeagerjaques. The video games also depict him being able to split the cero blasts into a pyramid shaped attack. Not much has been revealed about Shinji's zanpakutō, as he rarely uses or even visibly wears it. The hilt and sheath are red. None of his release states have been shown, and the times that he does seriously fight he seems to rely more on his hollow mask.

Love Aikawa

Love Aikawa (愛川 羅武(ラヴ)[8][9], Aikawa Ravu), former captain of the 7th Division, is a tall man sporting sunglasses, a spiked afro, and a jogging suit. He seems to be very laid back, usually reading Shōnen Jump or some of Lisa's erotic manga in his spare time. He and Rose seem to be close friends. His zanpakutōs hilt is in the shape of a heart, and he carries its sheath on a tōju hanging from his shoulder like a messenger bag. His zanpakuto's name has not been revealed nor it's abilities

Kensei Muguruma

Kensei Muguruma (六車 拳西, Muguruma Kensei) is a visored and a previous captain of the Gotei 13. He served as the 9th division captain with his lieutenant Mashiro Kuna.

Mashiro Kuna

Mashiro Kuna (久南 白, Kuna Mashiro) is the former lieutenant of the 9th Division under Kensei. A somewhat ditzy girl who wears a white bodysuit and goggles in her green hair. Her overall style of dress is reminiscent of the costumes worn by the tokusatsu superheroes of late 1950s Japanese television, perhaps meant as a contrast between her age and childish appearance. She was able to maintain her hollow mask for fifteen hours on her first attempt to control her hollow, which means she did not need to train like the other visored. She often calls Ichigo Berry-tan, a play on Ichigo's name. She seems to be good friends with Hachigen Ushōda, taking an instant disliking to Orihime Inoue when Hachi befriends her.

Rose

Rose (ローズ, Rōzu) was the former captain of the 3rd Division. He became captain approximately one year before Kisuke Urahara.[10] He is an effeminate man with long, wavy, blond hair and a frilly shirt. He seems to be interested in music, as he speaks to Love about an artist's new single and has been seen playing or tuning a guitar on several occasions. Rose appears to be one of the calmer and perhaps wiser ones amongst the group, though he becomes irritated whenever Love spoils a manga's story for him. His zanpakutōs hilt is in the shape of a diamond with curved edges, and its sheath is encrusted with diamonds.

Hiyori Sarugaki

Hiyori Sarugaki (猿柿 ひよ里, Sarugaki Hiyori) was the former 12th Division lieutenant under captains Kirio Hikifune and Kisuke Urahara. She is a tiny, blonde-haired girl with a fierce temper and violent tendencies. Her hair is worn in pigtails and she wears a red jogging outfit (which is decorated with the first kanji of her name). She also has a tiny fang on the left side of her mouth. Hiyori often abuses Shinji Hirako, usually by slapping him with one of her sandals. She also has even made it a reflex to use him as a human shield when necessary. This behavior dates back to her time as a lieutenant, despite the fact that Shinji outranked her then. She viewed Hikifune as a mother figure, and thus refused to accept Urahara as her replacement.

Hiyori took the longest to defeat her inner hollow out of all the current visoreds (excluding Ichigo, who took about the same amount of time), at 69 minutes and 2 seconds. Hiyori's zanpakutō is standard in appearance with her tsuba decorated in small hearts, a contrast to her not-so-girlish personality. She normally wears her sword from her right shoulder, like Ichigo. Her hollow mask is rhinoceros-like in appearance, sporting a prominent horn centered near the forehead.

Hachigen Ushōda

Hachigen Ushōda (有昭田 鉢玄, Ushōda Hachigen) is the physically largest visored. He was formerly the lieutenant of the Kido Corps under Tessai Tsukabishi. He wears a tuxedo and has a black crossbone design in his pink hair. He is usually referred to as Hachi (ハッチ, sometimes translated as 'Hutch'), but his actual name is Hachigen. He seems to be a binding spells expert, since he is always tasked with making barriers and such for the visoreds' use. By his own admission, his powers are similar to those of Orihime Inoue's. Despite his unusual size, Hachi is actually very kind and gentle and seems to enjoy Orihime's company.

Lisa Yadōmaru

Lisa Yadōmaru (矢胴丸 リサ, Yadōmaru Risa) was the former lieutenant of the 8th Division under Captain Shunsui Kyoraku. She is a girl with glasses and long, braided, dark hair, who dresses in a sailor fuku, as opposed to the more Western-style uniforms worn by the students of Karakura High School. In consistency with her current appearance, her shinigami uniform during her time in the Gotei 13 had a shortened hakama resembling a skirt. She seems easily irritated and apparently likes to read erotic manga (specifically, Josei manga). Her zanpakutō is considerably longer than most, making it appear like a nōdachi. She appears to be ambidextrous, initially wielding her zanpakutō with her left hand and then switching to her right during her fight with Ichigo.

Haseo Otagure

Haseo in an unnoficial member of the vizards.He is currently training with them however it takes along time because he is human.

Hiro Sozen

Hiro was a member of the Vizards but left after his training was complete and now roams around with Shichiyou Hana


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