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Who is this Shinji Hirako?
Oh, I'm so glad you asked. Here is the skinny on this character taken from Bleach Wikia:
Shinji Hiako a recruiter and the unofficial leader of the Vizards, and was also the previous captain of the 5th Division in the Gotei 13.
But wheres the beef in that?
Ah, a good question in deed.
In fact, here is a more in depth description:
Shinji is somewhat comical, adding a bit of levity to situations that are otherwise serious. He has a flippant attitude under normal circumstances and seems to like annoying his associate, Hiyori Sarugaki, which usually earns him a slap from one of her sandals. She, in turn, shows him absolutely no respect and frequently insults and attacks him; although he is no better, frequently making faces or glib insults at her expense. 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).
Underneath this, though, he is quite perceptive regarding other people, and during his time as a captain, was one of the few people who appeared suspicious of his then-lieutenant Aizen, and could apparently sense or see through some of his illusions. He also quickly notes parts of Urahara's personality. Aizen even admitted to being somewhat intimidated by him. Whenever angered or in combat, Shinji is fairly calm, serious, and level-headed. During a conversation with Ukitake, it was implied that he had been a long-running captain. However, he is not included in Shunsui Kyōraku's list of captains from 100 years before (now 200 years before, because that was said during the Pendulum arc).
Um...pardon me, but what IS a Vizard?
You have a brilliant resource to read up about them:
Might I suggest this really ultra, super great club all about them here.
Neat! But, what can he do?
-Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Shinji is implied to be a powerful combatant, being the unofficial leader among the group and a former Shinigami captain. At one point, when Shinji begins to fight with Ichigo Kurosaki, the other Vizard mention that Ichigo is foolish to battle Shinji proven by the fact that Shinji is not taking the battle seriously (albeit it was also mentioned that Ichigo was holding back, because he was trying to suppress his inner Hollow). Shinji is also shown to be able to hold off Mashiro Kuna during her Hollowfication metamorphosis without releasing his sword, although it took some effort. He was also able to fend off Kaname Tōsen while also trying to resist his Hollowfication.
-Flash Steps Expert: Shinji excels in shunpō. His skill is shown to be great enough to easily outmanuever Grimmjow, the Sixth Espada. In Turn Back the Pendulum, before he even became a Vizard, he was the first to arrive to save Hiyori even when Lisa had a headstart and all the other Captians left at the same time. Also, when he met up with Aizen during the Karakura Town arc, he seemingly Flash Stepped to his position instantly, with extreme speed albeit wearing his Hollow mask at that time.
-Keen Intellect: Despite his childish attitude at times, Shinji has shown himself to be a very insightful and perceptive man. During his time as captain of the 5th division, he was able to see through Aizen's deceptions and some of his illusions. Even Aizen himself admitted to be intimidated by Shinji's cunning.
Immense Spiritual Pressure: Being a captain, he must have had enormous spiritual pressure. Since becoming a Vizard, he now has the dual type spiritual pressure, similar to the Espada.
Sakanade (逆撫, Counter Stroke): In its sealed form, it resembles a normal katana. The hilt and sheath are red and its guard is shaped like an hour-glass.
Shikai: The release command is "Collapse" (倒れろ, taorero).In its Shikai its hilt becomes a large ring which Shinji places his hand in the middle of allowing him to freely control its movement without physically holding onto it if he so chooses. The ring is attached to a normal sword hilt with a normal rectangular hand guard. The first few inches of the blade are covered by a extension of the hand guard. Sakanade's blade is straight and slim with the tip ending in a slanted razor-like edge instead of being tapered to a point. There are five holes along the swords length.
So, he has all that... but what was that about a MASK?
Shinji's Hollow mask strongly resembles a pharaoh's mask, with a short, flowing hood hanging down the back of his neck. When donning his Hollow mask, Shinji's sclera turn completely black and his irises become grey. Shinji is quite skilled with his Hollow powers, using his increased speed and strength to overwhelm Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez in a short amount of time before catching him in a powerful Cero blast, which the Espada barely defended against with a Cero of his own (Although, Grimmjow's was hastily fired and not very powerful).
A Brief History of Shinji
Shinji was the captain of the 5th division approximately 100 years before the main storyline, with Sōsuke Aizen serving as his lieutenant. Unlike the other members of the Gotei 13, Shinji was aware of Aizen's immoral nature and appeared to have some knowledge of the true abilities of his subordinate's Zanpakutō. Believing the seemingly friendly, soft-spoken intellectual was a threat to Soul Society, Shinji decided to choose Aizen as his lieutenant so he could monitor him closely. One night, approximately 99 years before the main storyline, a group of Shinigami out on patrol mysteriously disappeared. Kensei Muguruma and Mashiro Kuna who were respectively captain and lieutenant of the 9th division at the time were sent, along with other members of the division to investigate the disappearance. Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto decided to send him, his fellow captains, Love Aikawa and Rōjūrō Otoribashi, and Lieutenants Lisa Yadōmaru and Hachigen Ushōda to the site with Hiyori Sarugaki already heading there.
Shinji during his time as a Captain
At the site of the disappearances, Shinji and the rest of his teammates were forced to fight Kensei and Mashiro who were unable to control their new Hollow abilities. Heavily injured by the fight, the remaining members were easily subdued by Kaname Tōsen and were unwillingly subjected to Hollowfication by Aizen, who used some sort of infectious agent to trigger the change. This agent caused Shinji and his comrades to rapidly transform into Hollows.
Shinji's Hollowfication begins.
However, before Shinji could attack Aizen, his Hollowfication progressed even more, paralyzing him. Gloating over his now helpless captain, Aizen stated that although it was wise of Hirako to keep an eye on him, he made a critical error; He refused to socialize and get to know his lieutenant, which made it easy for Aizen to deceive him. Satisfied with the results of his experiment, Aizen prepared to kill the high ranking Shinigami, but was forced to retreat after the arrival of Kisuke Urahara and Tessai Tsukabishi.
Urahara quickly takes Shinji and the rest of the victims to his lab and tried to use the Hōgyoku to reverse the damage, but failed. After they were sentenced to be executed as Hollows, the Vizard were given untraceable Gigais by Urahara for their escape to the Human World
A few tiny facts about Shinji:
- Shinji Hirako is voiced by Masaya Onosaka and Roger Craig Smith.
- His Debut in the Anime was episode 109, the ONLY original Vizard to be featured in a a filler arc. His manga debut was chapter 183.
- An early drawing of Shinji can be seen in the art of the first chapter of the manga.
- 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.
Current Shinji Apperences
An updated list of his latest action in the manga/anime.
Mashiro Kuna Fanclub
Kensei Muguruma FC
oxanabanana for the WONDERFUL banners and heading. :)
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