Shinigami are otherworldly beings who live in a dimension ruled by different rules than that of the Earthly Plane. Being that their bodies possess large amounts of Reiryoku and Reishi, they are granted all sorts of supernatural powers varied by each different Shinigami. So, for starters, Shinigami are often referred to as Death Gods. In this timeline, they are generally seen as being who help regulate the transference of Human Spirits into the Soul Society after one has passed away in the Realm Of The Living. By helping to purify or exterminate Hollow's, depending on the Shinigami in question, they attempt to guide the souls who have lost their way after death.
Furthermore, to ensure that they are able to better perform their capacities as a spiritual race, the Shinigami's primary attribute of the Zanpakutō has been forged to better do battle with those who seek to disrupt the order of things. Though, over the past four hundred years, they've needed to greatly change the way they do business in regards to the discovery of Demon's, Ziamichi, Sugiura and so many new subspecies of races growing in the worlds around them. It's a quickly changing world, and to evolve with it, the Shinigami race as a whole has had a few advancements throughout the centuries. There has even been an explosion in the population of Shinigami as a whole based on the constant crisis throughout the different realms of the Soul Society, Earth and Hueco Mundo. For what was once 6,000 Shinigami strong in the beginning of the 21st century, has now expanded into millions.
Henceforth, in the sections below you'll learn all about how different the Shinigami in the Platinum Hearts universe vary from the Original Canon. • Gathering Large Volumes Of Reishi
: The general method for a Plus Soul to transform a regular spirit into a Shinigami is done through acquiring a great amount of reishi and spiritual energy from within, otherwise known as Reishi and Reiryoku. Henceforth, for those Plus Soul's who are interested in becoming a Shinigami will generally do their best to hone their skills until enough Spiritual Energy is generated within to produce the prowess of a Shinigami and then a Zanpakutō. It should also be noted that this method is also how, from time to time, powerless human's are able to become hybrids. Containing human blood, but having the Reiryoku of a Shinigami and thus going on to forge a Zanpakutō with the help of a Gigai of some sort.• Sealing Methods:
If there is someone who is capable of sealing large amounts of spiritual energy into beings, then it's very possible to turn something like a Plus Soul into a Shinigami by enclosing and isolating an immense volume of Reiryoku and Reishi into their being. Should the transference go as planned, then they'd most likely become a Shinigami anywhere from the instant this pact is made to roughly forty eight hours after the fact. Additionally, though uncommon in nature, a human can become a Shinigami through this method as well. For if they were infused together with another Shinigami, even for a short duration of time, then a Zanpakutō would awaken within them and with the huge amounts of reishi and energy raging within them, they'd become a full-fledged Shinigami. • Being Born Into Becoming a Shinigami:
Steadily becoming a quiet sensation as the number of spirits increase in the Soul Society, It's very possible to be born into becoming a Shinigami. Generally, when two Shinigami are able to mate, should the parents of the child prove to have suitable amounts of Reiryoku vested within their bodies, then they can pass these genes on to the child in order to produce an offspring who will become a Shinigami out of the gate. If there isn't a suitable volume of Reiryoku to pass on, then they will simply be born as a Plus from the resulting copulation of the two spirits coming together. This is because in order for a Shinigami to be birthed in the first place, they require a large body of spiritual energy and reishi to begin with. If those two things are not there, then the creation of a Shinigami is simply not possible. • Birth By Zanpakutō:
This is a rather uncommon method, but if a Shinigami were to pierce the chest of a human with their Zanpakutō and target their spiritual energy into the Human's Body, it may transform this human into a Shinigami permanently or temporarily; based upon the amounts of energy placed into them. More notably, over the past four hundred years, this has even evolved to compass other races such as Iramasha, Demon's and Arrancar. Though, it's worth noting that this process does not have a high chance of success of the subject in question does not have a high quantity of spiritual energy within them. And if the method does fail, then the specimen will die. • Conversion By Iramasha Gem:
With their relationship with the Iramasha in general, the Shinigami have another interesting way of making new Shinigami. As a part of their population explosion, the Iramashsa produced many gems which are capable of birthing Asauchi into Plus Spirit's along with suitable amounts of spiritual energy into their very being. This will generally evolve them into the Shinigami Race and they will need to train in order to awaken their Zanpakutō and eventually learn it's name to progress further in their capacities as a Shinigami. The success rate of this is generally higher the weaker the subject is; compared to more powerful members of other races; as this can include more than just Plus Spirits.
• Extended Life-Spans: This is quite the unique trait that Shinigami possess over that of Human's. For, unlike human's, Shinigami can retain their visible youth for the many countless centuries to come. Those who are keenly in-tune with their spiritual energy can even greatly expand their lifetimes by upwards of fifty-percent more than usual. More than that, it seems to also reside over into the cosmetic side of things. As trained Shinigami with a good control of their Reiryoku can utilize it in order to preserve their youth for further prolonged periods of time. Furthermore, with the improvements in Modern Medicine over the past few centuries, there are also many various treatments available to Shinigami in order to enhance both their life-spans and physical appearance if need be at times.
• Enhanced Endurance: This is quite a noticeable feature in the race of Shinigami. Most Shinigami in general possess a very high tolerance to pain and injury than their human and Plus Spirit predecessors. For what would normally be considered a critical to life threatening injury to a human, a Shinigami would have far higher rates of survival due to the greater amounts of power behind an assault that would be required to essentially kill a Shinigami. An example of this would be a slash to the chest by a Shinigami who is roughly on a Seated Officers level. If this individual had been a regular human, chances are they'd have a good chance of dying from copious amounts of blood loss associated with the tear in their chest. However, since they ascended to that of a Shinigami, they are able to take multiple blows to the chest until they are finally put to a rest. Henceforth, one of the most ensured ways to kill a Shinigami is normally by slashing their head off.
• Konso: This is the course of action most Shinigami go through in order to send wandering Souls in the Human World or other realms and send them to their respective place. If they had lead a neutral or acceptable life, the most probable place a spirit would end up is in the Soul Society. If the subject in question had lead a destructive life that was full of senseless murders, endless amounts of theft and causing general pain upon others, then they'd generally be sent to the pits of Hell itself. Moving onward from that, Konso is usually carried out by using the hilt of a Shinigami's Zanpakutō to press against the forehead of a Soul; thus transporting them into the afterlife. However, it is possible for more skilled Shinigami to perform a mass version of this through a massive burst of their spiritual energy in emergency circumstances. It's also worth noting that this can be applied to other races as well; but the Shinigami actually has to kill them in combat. So, for example, a Shinigami can send a supernatural human to the Soul Society if they engaged in a battle and the Shinigami ended up slaying the human.
• Purging Sinister Souls: When a Shinigami is able to kill a Hollow with their Zanpakutō, this process generally leads to them being purged of their sins. After this effect has taken place, a hollow will typically revert back to their previous state as a Plus and will be led back into the pits of the Soul Society. This transformation system is called sublimation; it's essentially a form of rebirth which Shinigami are able to perform. Though, it should be noted that not all Hollows are sent to the Soul Society. Being that Shinigami only have the capacity to cleanse any wrong-doing this being had done after ascending to a hollow, Hollow's which committed heinous acts in their human lives will still be sent back to hell after they are destroyed. In the case of Demon's, however, if a Shinigami becomes powerful enough, they will attempt to purify their soul so that they can be reborn again as either a Human, or, if they feel the threat is too dangerous, simply send them to the pits of hell. This can also be applied to other races such as other Shinigami, Sugiura and so forth. They'll simply be returned to the Soul Cycle when killed by a Shinigami.
• Kikanshinki: Sometimes known as Account-Replacing SPirit Device, this tool was originally used by Shinigami on humans who have seen Shinigami or Hollows many years ago. However, with supernatural sighting become increasingly common on Earth, they soon switched their priorities around with this device. As of the 25th Century, the Kikanshinki is now a small device which can generate large plumes of smoke. It can be attached to any sort of equipment or clothing which a Shinigami has on them. After taking the appropriate measures to prevent themselves from being affected by this smoke, a user in question can enhance this smoke with their spiritual energy in order to cover a large area of land. If this smoke is inhaled by the target, then they may lose conscious and wake up later with a new memory. This can be useful against unruly opponents or if they need to keep their presence and information top secret during a mission.
• Gigai: These are temporary bodies that Shinigami use in The World of The Living, for the most part at least. They were crafted by the likes of those within the Shinigami Research and Development Institute. As of the past four hundred years, however, this technology has advanced. There are many types of different variants of Giga in the 25th century. Of course there is are the standard is generally one meant to easily transport Shinigami into the realm of the living within powerless bodies which resemble that of a human. However, thanks to groundbreaking research, there is currently a development meant to expand and encompass this to the incredible amounts of new races which had sprang up over the past four hundred years. So, in other words, Gigai which take the shape of other races are slowly becoming a reality. On top of that, some have even chosen to infuse their Gigai into their body so they can easily shift from their artificial body to that like of their Shinigami; much like in the case of Senna and Shadin Yuudeshi.
• Gokon Tekkō V2: This is a device which forcibly removes the Soul from the body. In the early stages of this gadget, it was originally taken in the form of a gauntlet. Though, with the advancements in the past four hundred years, it can now be infused into a willing Shinigami participant's hand and can be mentally summoned in the form of a red glow across their hand. Once this brilliant light is flourished across a Shinigami's hand, they are then able to attempt to remove a soul from a target's body. Rather it be an Arrancar, a Ziamichi or even a Vizard in some instances. This isn't absolute in nature, as depending on the subject in question, it may or may not be effective. Such as if they were able to formulate some sort of internal barrier before they had a chance to enact this ability, or if they simply moved out of the way before they could get injured by it. And, varying by how strong the target is, they may be even able to halve or null the damage with their spiritual energy alone as well.
• Jigokuchō: Otherwise known as Hell Butterflies, The Jigokucho serve a large multitude of purposes. When once is summoned by a Shinigami, they'll appear completely black, expect for a small outline of maroon along their lower wings. They are utilized in order to guide the Shinigami through various portal's which are made possible in the 25th century if they have not a good idea of the general area they are travelling to. Though, more commonly, they are used to guide the Shinigami inside the paths of a Senkaimon when travelling between the Soul Society and other realms; saving them the inconvenience of generally having to resort other methods of interdimensional travel or being forced to pass through the Dangai. Hell Butterflies are also used in order to swiftly and almost instantly warp important messages to loved ones, allies and sometimes even foes as a warning. And, for the most part, these creatures are often taken care of by new and inexperienced member in the Seireitei. Lastly, much like Shinigami themselves, Jigokuchō are only visible to spiritually aware beings.
• Denreishinki v2: Otherwise known as Divine Messenger Machine, this is known as an electronic interdimensional communications device used by Shinigami while on a mission within the Human World. Originally, during the early designs of this device, it was originally secluded to that of a cell phone found throughout the Living Realm in the 21st Century. Yet, as the technology increased, so to did the possibilities of this gadget. Being that many Shinigami had gone through cyber augmentations as of recent years, the newly revamped version of the Denreishinki can send orders, alerts and information through a vast series of networks. These can arrive in a Shinigami's Cyberbrain, various holographic devices attached to their person or, to be more precise, any electronic device which the Shinigami has in their possession. This is made possible by simply installing a small nanobot, roughly the size of a grain of rice, into the equipment in question and they will be locked into to this vast network of information thanks to the likes of the Yuudeshi Network sharing their Earthly technology with the Gotei 13 as apart of their treaty.
From it, they'll then be able to track all sorts of various alerts in not only the Living Realm, but the likes of Demon WOrld, Hueco Mundo and other realms in the known universes. It can be used as GPS tracking system for the likes of their allies, other fellow Gotei 13 operatives, wanted fugitives in the area, Arrancar's, Hollow's, Demon's and enemy forces alike. These can also be used to research information from various fights, the overview of bounty rewards for Shinigami whom purify Hollow's, Arrancar or Demon and their logs can be accessed by the likes of those in the Gotei 13. It's even possible to access a live internet stream into the cybernet in order to access further information if they need it: such as the terrain in many parts of the globe, current event taking place and so on.
• Reiryoku And Reiatsu: Most Shinigami naturally possess good quantities of Reiryoku, otherwise known as Spiritual Power. The level of their Reiryoku varies greatly from Shinigami to Shinigami. As the more of this inner energy they possess, the stronger a Shinigami's abilities will become, the more keen their senses will be and overall they will be a much more difficult being to kill as their supernatural affinity grows and strengthens as their volume of Spiritual Power expands. Additionally, it also grants them the capacity to detect other spiritual beings without needing to resort to their five basic senses. This is achievable because most types of supernatural creatures emit various levels of Reiryoku which can be detected by a Shinigami. Although, the level in which they can sense varies from Shinigami to Shinigami, for the most part almost every member of this pieces can detect it to an extent.
Furthermore, based on the fact that most creatures which possess Reiryoku have different patterns of Spiritual Energy radiating from them, more trained individuals can even tell the difference between allies, friends and even other races. They may even be able to gauge their comrades psychological state, for sudden changes in spiritual energy is a sure sign that they are either fighting or have received great injury. This detection system also allows for them discern the spiritual patterns of other races. As, for example, the Reiryoku pattern of Arrancar are quite simple to realize the difference of from that of a Plus, Shinigami or Human.
And, to boot, if a Shinigami is able to continually train their Reiryoku, more interesting developments can occur. One of these improvements is the fact that more advanced level Shinigami are able to control the quantities of spiritual energy which emits from their body. If they were to entirely block this phenomena out, then they could complete hide their presence away from other sorts of spiritual beings. The reverse effect of this, however, is known as Reiatsu, more commonly called as Spiritual Pressure. This is often considered a great show of power, and in the hands of a skilled individual, can become a form of an attack by itself. Those with high volumes of reiatsu can utilize it to paralyze opponents in some cases, cause direct damage to the surrounding vicinity; including living beings and objects alike and essentially produce other variable effects on the world around them.
Should weaker level souls be around a SHinigami of extreme power, and they decide not to control it, it's even possible for their reiatsu to easily kill lower level beings if they did not realize how much spiritual energy they leak from their body. If someone were in great control of their reiatsu, however, they could even begin to alter the area around them. Such as if one were of a elemental origin, they could infuse these properties into their spiritual pressure in order to produce a freezing effect if they were a ice-based user, or an immense heating effect if they happened to be a Shinigami whom possessed a great deal of supernatural ability in the art of fire bending. More than just that, more skilled users can even use their reiatsu to harden their skin in order to effectively protect themselves from a wide variety of attacks. Sometimes leading to varied Shinigami battles occasionally leading to one whom possess a greater level of spiritual pressure if they have nothing else left to fight with.
It's also worth mentioning, as a final note, most Shinigami have different reiatsu based colors based on their personality. If one were to have a feisty temper, then chances are they'd have a red, orange or even white spiritual aura around them. While if a Shinigami were more calm, composed and in control of themselves they may very well have a reiatsu shade of green or blue. What's more, some being can infrequently produce shape or solid forms of their spiritual pressure. Such as one with an animal based Zanpakutō having their spiritual energy take the shape of a bear or one with an affinity for death having that of a skull emerge behind them.
And so, with all the above said, these two tools are of great value and use to Shinigami. Use them with caution.
• Critical Analysis: The Zanpakutō of Shinigami is one of the primary tools they use to fight off other supernatural races such as Arrancar, Hollow's, Demon's and so forth. Making them a signature weapon of sorts for this entire race; being that they have cutting power able of cutting spiritual bodies. So, to start things off, the Zanpakutō of lower-ranking Shinigami are often referred to as Asauchi and do not have names. However, those of higher-rank who learn their Zanpakutō's name will generally always have names. In it's sealed state, a Zanpakutō traditionally has the form of a Japanese Sword known as a Katana. Though, this isn't always the case as it varies from Shinigami to Shinigami. One Shinigami may be able to have a weapon infused into themselves, while another has a gauntlet of some form as a few basic examples. Being that these are weapons generated from their owner's souls, Zanpakutō can have a wide variety of shapes, sizes and uses depending on the original origin of the user soul.
Hence, on that note, each Shinigami always carries a Zanpakutō of some sort and is unique to the Shinigami in question; as it's always a reflection of the Shinigami's soul. When they are able to learn the name of this sacred weapon, they'll soon come to know the Zanpakutō Spirit which lives within them and empowers the sword by lending it's strength to the Shinigami whom wields it. These sentient beings can differ greatly in their appearance, mannerisms, personality and have their own distinct attitude; which sometimes matches that of their owners or acts as a polar opposite in some cases. A Zanpakutō's shape and abilities are also based on their Shinigami's soul. For instance, if one had a soul full of great strife and anguish, chances are they'd produce a Zanpakutō which could embodiment that agony and form, when ready, a shikai which could induce pain upon those it touches.
So, with that said, as the Shinigami communicates with their Zanpakutō Spirit they'll learn they are born with their Zanpakutō Spirit, grow stronger with their inner spirit and die with their Zanpakutō. They are one with the Shinigami in question and they share a Shinigami's resolve, willpower and history. Inside of each Zanpakutō is an embodiment which materializes itself upon the Zanpakutō's transformation. The FIrst step to power is to bond oneself with this incarnation.
• Separate Reiatsu Reserves: In most cases, the Zanpakutō themselves have a separate supply of reiatsu than their wielder. This can be sensed as any other form of spiritual energy can and can be similar to their owners, albeit with slight and subtle differences in the signature of their reiatsu. If they have a strong enough connection, then they will be able to share these strands of energy together to form a stronger Shinigami. And, in the case of there being dual spirits, sometimes a tri-union of spiritual energy will be forged as well.
• Effortless Control: No matter what the shape, size or form of a Zanpakutō becomes through any state; it will always be virtually effortless for a Shinigami to wield no matter what. This is because the Zanpakutō itself is apart of the owners soul and is essentially an extension of themselves to a certain degree. Though, most Shinigami generally try to keep their weapons to a manageable size, or else they would craft Zanpakutō roughly the size of entire buildings. Making it to where one cannot judge a Shinigami by the size of their Zanpakutō alone.
• Maturing Zanpakutō's: This quite the evolutionary feat which has been embedded into this new generation of Shinigami. As the user learns more things about themselves, the world around them and push themselves; their capacities will generally grow as all powers do. This is the process of gradually advancing their abilities, powers, racial skills, Zanpakutō's and eventually their Shikai or Bankai. As a Shinigami trains, they do have the potential to expand their attributes, but generally not change them. For instance, Zin Yuudeshi's Shikai previously was a simple sword emerged in fire. Four hundred years later? He has melted his Zanpkautko to the core of his being and transformed his fire/heat manipulation into something he can mentally use and engulfed it in a force around and inside of his body.
• Inner World: Normally, only the Shinigami themselves and their Zanpakutō Spirit can see the wielders Inner World. However, there have been cases where Shinigami with special abilities can invite others into their realm or even the Zanpakutō Spirit themselves. On top of that, opponents are occasionally able to enter through the same method; such as if they had a power which allowed for spatial distortion of the soul to venture forth into this realm. Outside of that information, the Inner World itself is generally based around the Shinigami's mind, heart and soul. As such, these internal realms differ dramatically from Shinigami to Shinigami; as they are unique to each Zanpakutō forged. A Zanpakutō Spirit also holds the capacity to bring it's wielder into it's inner world at any waking moment, though the Shinigami can consciously achieve this by simply meditating and focusing on their inner world. Additionally, it's worth noting that with some Shinigami, they have learned to materialize their artifacts of their Internal World into the External World. Such as the summoning of flames from a Fire Zanpakutō's Inner World or lightning from an electric based Zan.
• Sealed Zanpakutō Powers: As a part of the Shinigami's evolution to keep up with the other new emerging races rampant throughout the world, they've learned to essentially call upon weakened versions of their release forms power. For instance, if one had a fire based Zanpakutō, it's safe to assume they'd have some sort of flame based Shikai. With that said, think of Sealed Zanpakutō Powers as a teaser of what's come. Generally, they are restricted to one or two attributes; though there have been cases where three or four have been detected within extremely powerful Shinigami beings. In the case of our fire-based user, if he were on a Captain's level, then he may very well be able to easily wield and generate flames within his sealed form; along with having an overall affinity for flames extreme thermal resistance to better suit himself in those environments. While, if someone had an electric based Zanpakutō, then they could generate or manipulate electricity within a small vicinity; while maintaining a strong leaning towards electromagnetic resistance against other lightning users to improve their durability.
• How To Break a Bankai & Zanpakutō: A Bankai is usually able to take excessive amounts of force depending on the Shinigami wielding it and this tends to vary depending on the will, spirit and power of the user. For example, Ichigo doubted himself when he fought kenpachi and Zaraki's sword went right through Zangetsu. Also, when Renji fought Byakuya, Senbonzakura kicked Renji's ass and damaged Zabimaru. Ever since then, it has been noted that Zabimaru has been weaker than it used to be.
The power and forms of Shikai and Bankai are varied depending on the Zanpakutō in question. They also vary based off of the wielder's strength and training. But typically, one's power can grow five to times times greater. Breaking a Bankai is a very hard feat and only a few are capable of it, shattering it for one with enough physical force to destroy it, as with Ikkaru . A broken bankai can never be returned to its former state. The only exception being captain Sajin Komamura's bankai, those two share a bond so strong that when one is injured the other reflects that damage but the bankai is healed when the captain is healed.
• Repairing/Reforging A Zanpakutō: Repairing a shikai can be done by going to Squad 12 combined with general meditation and rest away from combat. After some fine tuning from the research and development team and regeneration of lost reiatsu, The sword should become usable again but cannot always be considered as powerful as it was before. However, in order to regain a Bankai, it must be entirely reforged unless you have an extreme bond to your Zanpakutō in question. So far, there aren't many known methods to reforge Bankai as of now.
• Dual-Zanpakutō: To be frank, there is no such thing as wielding two different Zanpakutō spirits for the most part. Most beings get the term "Dual-Zanpakutō" mixed up with having "Two Zanpakutō Spirits". This is not the case because a Zanpakutō, for all intents and purposes, is a reflection of the Shinigami's soul. Therefore, while the aforementioned example may not be possible, it IS probable for a Shinigami's Zanpakutō to take on many different forms; albeit a majority of Multi-Wielders will not be able to access them all at the same time. Only a slim minority are able to use more than one Zanpakutō at time, and it's only restricted to two forms being utilized in a fused state.
They will not receive an increase in spiritual energy in this, only being able to be allowed to harness the attributes of their separate blade. Furthermore, they may be required to learn the different release phrases in order to call upon these Multi-Powers as they become stronger. Which makes the task of owning a Dual-Zanpakutō or Multi-Zanpakutō that much harder. However, if one is able to get over these hurdles, then it's possible for them to obtain one. It's also worth mentioning that most Multi-wielding Shinigami users will generally have their Zanpakutō SPirit, and sometimes inner-world, split into multiples for how many Zanpukato's they claim.
• Inheriting Zanpakutō: It is very possible for someone else to inherit another's Zanpakutō, albeit they will become infused into the current host's Zanpakutō. An example of this is if a Shinigami is on the verge of death, it is very possible for them to pass-down their Zanpakutō to a person of their choosing in order to ensure it's power is carried on; thus creating a Pseudo-Dual Zanpakutō of sorts. The most notable instance of this occurring is when Tosen himself took on his master's Zanpakutō after his passing and combined it into his own being. Though, one does not generally need to sacrifice their life in order for this to be carried out. At the cost of losing their Zan's powers, a Shinigami can also pass down their Zanpakutō to a user by channeling into their Inner World and transferring their Zanpakutō into the Shinigami they desire. Although the two of them will need to be in sync, if they are able to harmonize, then this sort of inheritance is very possible in the modern age of Shinigami. Should they fail to synchronize, then the Zanpakutō in question will be rejected and placed back into the original body.
• Release Phrase
Most Shinigami have some sort of release phase in order to unleash their Shikai Form. This serves as an incantation to essentially make them stronger; much like when one is uttered to harness the power of a Kidō technique. Although, those with constant release forms will not need one. At any rate, the activation speeches can range anywhere from a simple word with the name of the Zanpakutō, to a short poem. More often than not, they relate to the Zanpakutō's primary ability or hint at the essence of their spirit. Those with a master control over their attributes may be able to bypass this step, though they are few in number. • Shikai Usage:
This is essentially the second form available to a Zanpakutō above their sealed state. In order to activate this transformation, the Shinigami in question needs to learn the name of their Zanpakutō traditionally. It's not simply a game of picking a name for their weapon; as the living embodiment of the blade will generally already have it's own name. Nay, the Shinigami must be able to communicate and become in tune with their Zanpakutō in a more effective matter; which requires being able to make contact with their Zanpakutō Spirit within the depths of their internal world. Henceforth, the creation of a Shikai is the hallmark of control that a Shinigami has over their Zanpakutō. Which is why it is often considered a means for advancement within the ranks of organizations such as the Gotei 13; as a large number of seated officer should be capable of Shikai. Meanwhile, for Vice Captains, it's nearly always required as is for the rank of Captain; least they have a constant release.
At any rate, the actual effects of this ascension generally result in some sort of change in the blade or user itself; rather it be an internal transformation, modification to their physical appearance or some sort of shift in their spiritual energy. This is because after the releasing incantation, the blade in question, along with the Shinigami, will achieve a heightened sense of their sealed Zanpakutō abilities and be in an "awakened" fighting form, so to speak. More often than not, the amount of reiatsu and Reiryoku that is produced within a Shinigami will double to triple in quantity, potency and mass. This allows them to further their power and enhance their overall state of being by generally granting them augmentations in their racial abilities, sharpening their mind and making their general traits that much more fearsome when they release their blade upon an opponent during combat. • Constant Release:
This is otherwise known as a "sub-type" of Zanpakutō. As the name points out, Constantly Release Shinigami are those whom possess a Zanpakutō that is always in it's Shikai form. This is mostly due to the very potent nature of the wielders spiritual energy and will generally have quite the immense amount of Reiryoku and Reiatsu surging within their being. So, with that said, not everyone will generally have this sort of Zanpakutō and it usually takes very powerful Shinigami to obtain this sort of form. More importantly, though, a key part to obtaining this sort of always active release it to have a lack of control over their spiritual energy. Although this is not required, in a large majority of cases, most users whom possessed some form of constantly active Shikai had little to no control over their Reiryoku or Reiatsu. Only a smaller minority are able to have a fine control and not have some sort of release form. Making them a rare breed of Shinigami if anything else.• Maji-Shikai:
Meaning Merged Initial Release in Japanese, The Maji-Shikai is a newly coined term for Shinigami whom possess Dual-Zanpukto and are able to harness the skill needed to combine two Shikai's together. In order to do this, one most have a Inner Spirit which is split into separate bodies. From there, a user must learn the release phrases of each different Zanpakutō before they are able to even use the separate forms. At that point, it will take an immense amount of training; training which may cause great damage to the Shinigami's soul if goes wrong. For if they are unable to harmonize these two forms, they will simply result in damaging their spirit and either losing one of their Shikai or their Zanpukto's powers altogether.
Nevertheless, if they are able to succeed in this internal training, they will then be able to unlock a Maji-Shikai which will allow them to utilize two Shikai's abilities at once; albeit it will be more taxing on the Shinigami in question than a regular Shikai and will generally drain more spiritual energy. And with this unification, there will always generally be some sort of shift in the blade's appearance and occasionally the Shinigami themselves to mark this fusion. Lastly, all Vizards should be weary of obtaining a Dual-Zanpakutō. While it may be possible in rare case, a good majority of the time the user will simply implode on itself due to the immense strain of spirits connected to their body. So a Maji-Shikai is often not recommended for Vizards, but is possible. They'll more often than not have more strain on them then even the usual Maji-Shikai.» Shikai-Levels:
What are Shikai Levels? Essentially, they are used to estimate the strength, potential and power that a Shikai possess based on the amount of Reiryoku that a Shinigami has within themselves. Or, in other words, based upon their tier level. So, below, you'll see the many different tier levels and the perks they give your Shinigami as a result. This does also apply to different forms of Shikai as well; such as Maji-Shikai or Constantly Released Shikai.
- Beginner Shikai: A Beginner Shikai can be unlocked around the tier level of 3-1 to 3-1+. At this stage in your Shikai journey, it really will become difficult to manage one because it will be highly limited in it's power and a low duration of time in which you can sustain this form. This based around the fact that your Shinigami in question will have a frustrating time managing it due to the level of spiritual energy usually required to prolong a release like this. As such, they'll usually only be able to hold this form for roughly two to four post before giving out. Additionally, it will most likely have only one or two abilities to it overall. In order to make it stronger, you will need to go into deep training with it. Through constant fights, training within your inner world and the gathering of more Reiryoku; you will eventually progress to the ranks of an Adept Shikai to have an improved release form.
Adept Shikai: When a Shinigami is able to ascend to this level of power within their Shikai, they'll begin to notice some serious changes in how far their release form will have come along. In order to first unlock one, however, the subject in question needs to increase their spiritual energy to the ranks of 2-5 to 2-3. From there, they'll need to have sharpen their skills to understand more about their Zanpakutō and it's functions. So, firstly, based off the fact that they have more of a foundation with their Zanpakutō and possess increased amounts of Reiryoku, it's quite possible for Adept Level Shikai's to hold on to this transformation for roughly six to sixteen post before it runs out. There are exceptions and those who deviate greatly from this rule; but this is done a Shinigami by Shinigami bases more than anything. At any rate, with their increased wisdom of their Zanpakutō, they'll also have more abilities unlocked for it by this point and will have a basic understanding of them. Making them a much greater threat to deal with it overall as they keep sharpening their abilities.
Advanced Shikai: This is considered to be a highly conditioned form of Shikai for Shinigami who are able to push themselves to this level of release. At around the tiers of 2-2 to 1-4, one may be able to unlock this ascension and overcome more of the limitation of their previous advancement. For starters, the posting time in which an Advanced Shikai can remain on the field greatly increases to a sixteen to twenty duration post limit. On top of that, the abilities that they once had before will greatly improve to the point of becoming immensely potent. From all of their combat experiences, training and skills having increased along with their volume of spiritual energy; an Advanced Level Shikai commands respect wherever it goes and is considered to be a worthwhile asset to most organizations out there. The only strain in which a Shinigami generally suffers from their Advanced Shikai release is simply the passing of their spiritual energy as time progresses and how intense their opponent or attacks become as the brawl carries out.
Master Shikai: Nearing the maximum peak one can attain for a Shikai, when a Shinigami obtains a Mastered Shikai they will be considered top tier practitioners of this release. As a result, they will ascend past the limitations of their counterparts who are beneath them in this field. For when one is able to reach the tier of 1-3 to 1-1, they'll have invested enough spiritual energy within the core of their being to have the capacity to sustain their Shikai for roughly twenty six to thirty seven post without much of a problem. Though, of course, they'll be able to be forced out of it after taking damage and it may weaken over the duration of the fight; it's still an impressive feat to behold. Not only that, but their abilities, powers and so forth will be taken to a new plateau of strength as they may forge more complicated attributes to their Zanpakutō and they'll most likely see quadruple the effects in their augmentation as they ascend to this form in all of the Shinigami's racial skills, general skills and their special abilities. It's even able to rival some weaker Bankai's for all intents and purposes; making it quite the lethal and fearsome transformation to deal with on the battlefield against all those who oppose Master-Level Shikai users.
Grand Master Shikai: Grand Master Shikai: This is often known as the absolute pinnacle of a Shikai. When a Shinigami is able to reach the status of Grand Master in their Shikai, they have full control over almost every single function of their release form. This means they possess every fiber of knowledge, every possible limitation and know the mechanics of how their Zanpakutō functions like the back of their hand. This will result in a massive burst in augmentation on par with a Bankai, extremely complex abilities and immense levels of spiritual energy to radiate from every pour of the Shinigami. It is why some Grand Master Shikai have been known to easily cut through some weaker leveled Bankai's beneath them with the utmost precision. Therefore, a Grand Master Shikai will be considered a Legendary Shikai of sorts by those whom are able to wield them. Henceforth, by obtaining the tier level of 0-5 to 0-4, a Grand Master Shikai will be made possible to those Shinigami who are able to make it to this level of power. They also will have removed the need for a post duration; as they have to take a sufficient amount of damage to be forced back into their sealed state OR lose a good amount of spiritual energy. Making them quite the formidable foes to deal with in the line of combat when these release forms are unleashed against all those who dare oppose them. The Second Release awaits you with open arms, at this point.
• Hayai Kaihō:
This a new method to obtain Bankai discovered by the likes of Shadin Yuudeshi and Snopy Saika. Due to the nature of this sort of Bankai Training, you are going to need a willing participant who is capable of infusing vast amounts of purely spiritual energy into the subjects own spirit energy supply. However, before doing so, the subject must have a sufficient amount of energy that can sustain a Bankai prior to the fact. Meaning if you don't have the Reiryoku And Reiatsu to sustain a Bankai? You'll simply die upon it's ritual. One must also have to transport either the Inner World of the Shinigami in question wanting Bankai, their Zanpakutō Spirits or figure out a way to materialize the Earthly plane inside or outside of the subject; considering that's one of the requirements needed for obtaining a Bankai in most typical circumstances.
After that? The volunteer will need to forcibly submit the Zanpakutō Spirits on behalf of the Subject. If successful? Then the accomplice to this devious crime will need to alert the host of Hayai Kaihō, swiftly tell them to activate their Bankai and see if it has a chance of working out. And like that, provided the helper doesn't destroy the Zanpakutō spirit, the Inner World is able to stabilize and the subject in question doesn't die; they should have a fairly good chance of obtaining a Bankai on the spot. In addition to that, the person may see a slight to moderate tier increase depending on how much energy sealed/merged into them. Moreover, the person performing this method should be of a much higher tier then the subject in question.• Bankai Usage:
This is often a peaking point for most Shinigami of this generation. To obtain Bankai, a Shinigami needs to be able to bring forth their Zanpakutō into the material plane and subjected it. So, in other words, instead of being dragged into the subject's Inner World, a wielder of this weapon needs to be able to summon it's Zanpakutō Spirit in the physical world. Generally, it takes ten years or more to master, in addition to the experience to master it. Though, over the past few hundred years, there have been quicker methods to get the job done as the amount of Shinigami has increased throughout the known verses. No matter what, however, once one has unlocked this state they'll be at an impressive level of power for the most part against lower leveled peers of their species upon achieving this form. For most PH Based Shinigami, they can gain it as early as 2-1+; albeit an immature and very weak Bankai. And for most Shinigami at 1-5 and above, they'll generally be allowed to obtain a Bankai, though it is not required in some cases.
In most cases of ascending to Bankai, one of the first major changes is physical transformation accompanying this initial release. Rather it be a change in the qualities of spiritual energy around them, a morph of their body or an alteration of their weapon; some sort of slight to major physical development occurs in a majority of Bankai Release. After that shift takes place, the Shinigami will then see a major boost in their capacities compared to their Shikai and Sealed State. While this may vary from Shinigami to Shinigami based on the major difference in experience, strength, training and energy; most can expect an overall augmentation boost of roughly five to ten times over their physical attributes, special abilities and racial skills. Making it a primary reason why only some of the strongest members of the race possess this form out of the millions upon millions of other Shinigami in the world today.
With that said, one of the most traditional flaws of this release state is the fact that if often takes copious amounts of power to awaken it. Being that it's abilities and form go far above that of any normal weapon, it's no wonder it takes such a strain on their energy supply and sometimes body; depending on the effects of the users Zanpakutō. It's apart of the reason why it takes such a long period of time to master; even after learning ones Bankai. For even if one was a 1-1+, they would still not obtain a fully mastered Bankai until sometime around 0-3 or 0-2; as a Zanpakutō is constantly evolving. What's more unnerving is that if a Shinigami ends up breaking their Bankai while in this state, it will never be able to return to the way it was once before in a large percentage of these cases. The only execeptions known to date so far are ones whom possess a strong bond with ones Zanpukto Spirit; such as with Sajin Komauraura's Bankai. For they both shared a union so strong, when one is hurt, the other deflects the damage, but the Bankai had been recovered following his recovery. • Sheādo-Bankai:
Meaning Shared Final Release in Japanese, the Sheādo-Bankai is a fairly recent term meant to reference the combination of fused Bankai between Dual and Multi-Zanpakutō users. Much like Maji-Shikai, Sheādo-Bankai requires an immense amount of training, skill, energy and experience in order to even utilize. This is noted as being an increasingly rare form of Bankai because you'll have to master your Dual or Multi-Zanpakutō's other release forms as well. And unlike a Bankai, you'll need to have a tier level of at least 0-5+ to even have a functional Sheādo-Bankai. Once these initial requirements are met, one must go about the process of trying to harmonize them yet again and focus them into one unified release.
Much like the Maji-Shikai, you can only merge two Banaki at a time as well. If you attempt to do more than that, then most only succeed in injuring their soul for a long duration of time; which results in the denial of their Zanpakutō's power. Although at that cost, there have been Shinigami who could use a Triple Sheado-Bankai for short durations of time before these effects transpired. And much like it's predecessor, the Maji-Shikai, The Sheādo-Bankai taxes Vizards immensely and is not available to those who have a Ressurection Form already. This is because the combined forces of the Inner Hollow being expanded to that peak form will combine with the already fused nature of the Sheādo-Bankai and cause complications which will result in the forced regression of the Vizard back into sealed state. Therefore, it's recommended that only pure-blooded Shinigami make use of Sheādo-Bankai.
With all of that said, when one unlocks a Sheādo-Bankai they will not see another five to ten times increase in energy; but may have additional perks depending on their Bankai-Type. Such as if you had one Bankai which amp'd you physical strength, while another increased ones mental state of being; to give an example. Elemental Zanpakutō's also have a easier time with this compared to more complex Zanpakutō's as well. Although, with Bankai already being a taxing state, those with Sheādo-Bankai will also seen an increased amount of difficulty in maintaining their Sheādo-Bankai because of the massive quantities of spiritual energy it will eat away from them. Therefore, it's recommended that Dual and Multi-Zanpukato users utilize this transformation sparingly. »Bankai-Levels:
Much like Shikai-Levels, Bankai levels are used to evaluate ones possible strength and power that a Bankai possess from the amount of Reiryoku that Shinigami has vested within themselves. Therefore, judging by their tier, they'll receive the appropriate mastery of Bankai in the sections below as a result of this system being put in place as of recently. And, like Shikai, it applies to the different forms of Bankai as well; such as Sheādo-Bankai. So pay close attention to the different levels mentioned.
- Beginner Bankai: A Beginner Bankai begins around the 2-1 to 2-1+ level. At this level, it'll be quite difficult to control your Bankai due to the extreme immature nature of it. You'll be restricted to only one ability, and even then, you'll only see a slight increase in power over your previous Shikai. In order to see the major effects, you need to become more in-tune with how your Bankai. To do that, you will need to push yourself in combat, meditate heavily, horn your skills and eventually summon the spiritual energy within to actually sustain a Bankai for a prolonged period of time. Henceforth, Beginner Bankai's are only really able to be sustained for roughly two to four post before the user is forced to go back to their previous form due to the strain on their body.
- Adept Bankai: In the current generation, this is where most of the Shinigami who are able to ascend to the level of Bankai fall into place. As such, in most cases the adept level of Bankai will begin at rank of 1-5 through 1-3 tier. It is at this skill level where Shinigami will find it easier to actually sustain a Bankai. Therefore, one of the first benefits of the transformation is that their ability to stay in Bankai is greatly expanded from the Beginner Bankai; being that they actually have enough energy to manage one. Henceforth, most Adept Bankai will be able to hold their released states for roughly four to eight post before tiring out. Though, there are exceptions and abnormalities to this rule varying from Shinigami to Shinigami. Along with that, they'll have a more solid understanding of their Bankai and will be able to call upon more of it's abilities with a basic knowledge of them. Making Adept Bankai a very respectable form to do battle against. For with this level of wielding, they'll be able to receive a five times increase in strength; a much better level than their Beginner Level counterparts. Although there is still a large strain of energy that will steadily drain them; as with most Bankai releases. So use this form with the utmost caution when releasing an Adept Bankai on the field.
- Advanced Bankai: Most Shinigami consider this to be a very critical and peaking point of control over their Bankai. Upon reaching the rank of 1-2 through 1-1+, many have a great knowledge, foundation and understanding of their Shinigami. Therefore, when obtaining this level of domination over your Bankai, the strain will be lessened to a moderate extent. The duration in which they can use Bankai will be greatly expanded; going from four to eight post; to roughly holding their Bankai from ten to twenty post. Though, most like the previous Bankai, there will still be exceptions and abnormalities in this group based from Shinigami to Shinigami. Nevertheless, they will go deeper into their abilities, their attacks will become that much more potent and the augmentation increases will be great. For, when a Shinigami attains an Advanced Bankai, they'll receive a seven times increase in most of their racial traits, special abilities and general skills. Making them quite the force to be reckoned with over their predecessors. But, even with all of this said, there is still going to be quite a bit of energy being sucked away due to the overall nature of a Bankai in most cases.
- Master Bankai: A Master Level Bankai is achieved when one is able to reach the tier of 0-5 through 0-4. When a Shinigami is able to ascend to this level of a Bankai, they'll often be considered some of the most dangerous release forms out there. For, it is at this plateau in skill most will have an optimal level of control over a large majority of their abilities. A good number of candidates in this category of Bankai may even be able to expand it further and forge new specialities along the way as their Zanpakutō evolves with their new experiences. Such as a fire-based Bankai allowing the user to conjure up a heat-related prowess that allows them to control the climate within an area; or an electric based user going on to become entirely comprised of lightning for durations of time. Therefore, with that said, Master Level Bankai's are truly fearsome because of that. As, on top of all of that, they'll even be able to receive a nine times increase in their Bankai level; towering over both of their previous levels of skill in the Bankai forms prior to this. So there may be even further changes in how the Bankai looks in some cases as it continues to progress towards the Grand Master Level. It's also worth noting that a Master Level Bankai will be able to withhold their Bankai for roughly twenty five to thirty five post; becoming as natural to them as breathing.
Grand Master Bankai: Upon reaching a Grand Master control over Bankai, most Shinigami consider these to be the absolute legends of Bankai. For, they are essentially at the pinnacle of a Bankai's potential. Which means, they have entered into a realm of power where fusion with one's Zanpakutō is entirely possibly and they will be able to unify with it if they go through the proper training needed to unlock a Shikōkai. This also translates into the fact that they have enough energy to sustain their Bankai for such copious amounts of time to where it can be managed for up to forty post in some cases. However, as with all of the previous Bankai forms before it, there will be such abnormalities and exceptions to this rule. Such as in the case of Shadin Yuudeshi's Bankai; because it gives him such a major boost in power overall and consumes so much spiritual energy through every waking moment of it's release, Shadin has a much shorter duration period of holding his Bankai than others in exchange for a dramatically increased state of power over other peers in the Grand Master category in Bankai. At any rate, in most cases of a Grand Master Bankai, they'll even be able to receive anywhere from a ten to twelve times increase in their overall attributes, racial skills, powers and even their intelligence and reaction times. Making GM Bankai's something to be greatly feared by not only SHinigami, but other races as well. For essentially, they are one with their Bankai and to them it is simply a state of being at this point as opposed to some difficult challenge to ascend to. Henceforth, they have ABSOLUTE control over their powers in Grand Master Bankai and have full knowledge of how to use every last ability of this perfected Bankai; for all intents and purposes.
Otherwise known as Constant Final Release in Japanese, a Teisū-Bankai is considered to be the successor of the popular Constant Release Shikai, but on a much higher level from what you can deduce from the title alone. Therefore, only Masters or Grand Masters of Bankai are able to truly attain this transformation. While most Bankai's are focused on having immense energy outputs added to their being, this transformation is going to be the complete opposite of that. Instead of focusing on copious amounts power being added to their body, the idea behind Teisu-Bankai is to take as little energy as possible to sustain Bankai; similar to the reason why some Professional Athletes in the realm of running choose to go on long-distance runs: by training their body to go at a moderate pace, but a longer distance, it helps build up endurance and stamina.
Henceforth, by the time a Shinigami releases their Full-Bankai from Teisu-Bankai, it results in a dramatic stamina boost compared to peers of their level; much in the way a runner will perform much better in shorter, but fiercely faster runs from the long-distance training at a relaxed pace. Making the general concept behind this idea simple: The key to this state is energy conservation rather than boosted energy output. Which is why most consider this to be a state between Shikai and Bankai for all intents and purposes. A Teisu-Bankai is much less powerful than a Bankai, but still a bit stronger than most Shikai's out there.