"As a member of your school, I would only be able to imitate you. The role of a right-hand man should be to compensate for those areas which you cannot address!"
Chōjirō Tadaoki Sasakibe (雀部 長次郎 忠息, Sasakibe Chōjirō Tadaoki) was the lieutenant of the 1st Division under the command of Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto. He had kept this post for at least 110 years.
Chōjirō has pupil-less eyes, short silver-gray hair and a small black handlebar mustache with lightly tanned skin. He wears a white jinbaori over a standard Shinigami uniform with long white arm guards. He wears a white turtle-neck under his uniform and has his lieutenant armband on his left arm. As a lieutenant approximately 110 years ago, Chōjirō lacked his black mustache.
When he was young, Sasakibe had short, light hair and short eyebrows. He wore the standard Shinigami uniform with a white robe over it which was clasped at the front by a simple knot.
Sasakibe is fiercely loyal to his captain, having sworn to serve as his lieutenant for as long as Yamamoto is alive. During missions to the Human World, Sasakibe saw English society, which had a big impact on him. As such he has a habit of making tea with his own personally grown black tea leaves, sometimes with drastic results, such as blowing up a tower by trying to turn on a boiling machine. His adoration of Western culture is to such a degree that he only likes Western cuisine and dislikes Japanese cuisine. This is a noticeable difference between him and his captain, though he represents the Tea Ceremony Club on occasion. His jinbaori, which he made himself, is also meant to give him a more Western look. He passes his free time by endeavoring to adopt more aspects of Western culture.
When he was younger, Sasakibe routinely visited Yamamoto at his school, always referring to him as "Eijisai-dono", a reference to the scar on his forehead. This annoyed Yamamoto and he apologized for doing so, but insisted that it would be wrong to use Yamamoto's real name. During one of his visits, Sasakibe told Yamamoto that he wished to be his right arm and compensate for anything that Yamamoto could not do. He declined an offer to become an instructor as he thought that he would simply end up copying Yamamoto. At Yamamoto's behest, he tried to defeat Yamamoto with his Bankai. Though he failed to defeat him, he left a permanent scar on Yamamoto's face. Sasakibe was told that his Bankai was like a child's, which he agreed with and said he would spend his life improving it in order to be of use to Yamamoto. He spent many years training intensely. When others began to call Yamamoto by a different name as a result of his new scar, Sasakibe continued to call him "Eijisai" as he could not change the way he called him because of a scar he inflicted.
Though Sasakibe was able to master his Bankai before Jūshirō Ukitake and Shunsui Kyōraku did, he did not participate in battles and did not use his Bankai in front of others in the entire existence of the Gotei 13. He was sometimes insulted because of perceived weakness. He declined to act as a substitute captain when a position as captain became vacant due to his loyalty to Captain-Commander Yamamoto.
Soul Society arc
During a meeting of the Gotei 13's lieutenants, Sasakibe and the other gathered officers hear the alarm as the Ryoka are launched into the Seireitei by Kūkaku Shiba. Chōjirō accompanies Captain Yamamoto to Rukia Kuchiki's execution on the Sōkyoku Hill, where he stands by as Yamamoto asks Rukia if she has any last words.
He is directly ordered by Yamamoto to stop Renji Abarai after the latter runs off with Rukia. Along with Isane Kotetsu and Marechiyo Ōmaeda, he gives chase, but Ichigo Kurosaki soon appears in their way, blocking their path. Chōjirō and his fellow lieutenants release their Zanpakutō, but Ichigo launches a swift bare-handed attack. Out of the three, Sasakibe is the only one fast enough to react and attack, though Ichigo easily dodges. He then defeats Sasakibe by punching him in the jaw. After recovering, Sasakibe is among those that receive Isane's message revealing Captain Sōsuke Aizen as a traitor. As Aizen flees Seireitei, Sasakibe stands by Yamamoto and listens as the treacherous captain bids them farewell.
When an assembly of captains is called due to the appearance of the Grand Fisher Arrancar in Karakura Town, Sasakibe is present at the start of the meeting, standing behind Yamamoto. Later, he assists his captain in restraining Momo Hinamori after she goes off course on saving Sōsuke Aizen in a conversation with Tōshirō Hitsugaya.
Hueco Mundo arc
The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Fake Karakura Town arc
During the battle, Sasakibe waits outside the barrier surrounding the Fake Karakura Town. When the Visored arrive, they find him and he allows them to pass through the barrier and enter the battle zone. Chōjirō accompanies them to Yamamoto's location where he apologizes to Yamamoto for allowing the Visored to enter, saying that he thought it was necessary given the circumstances, but he is forgiven before he could finish. Later, after Aizen's defeat, Chōjirō rushes to the injured Visored and Retsu Unohana to warn them that Mayuri Kurotsuchi is about to switch back Karakura Town and its fake counterpart and that they had limited time to get away or else they could be seriously hurt by the transfer.
Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc
Sasakibe and other members of the 1st Division are attacked by Driscoll Berci at one of Seireitei's gates. During the 182 second long battle, 106 members of the 1st Division are killed and Sasakibe sustains mortal wounds. Sasakibe uses his Bankai for the first time in an actual battle, but it is stolen by Driscoll with his Medallion.
Sasakibe is then propelled across Yamamoto's office and pinned to the wall, impaled by an arrow several times larger than his own body. Following the departure of the Wandenreich, he warns Yamamoto that they can completely erase something belonging to a Shinigami. Soon after, he succumbs to his wounds. He is later cremated atop a large funeral pyre as Yamamoto and other Gotei 13 officers pay their last respects to him.
Powers & Abilities
Gonryōmaru redirects here. For the manifested spirit that appears in the anime-only Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc see Gonryōmaru (Zanpakutō spirit).
Gonryōmaru (厳霊丸, Stern Spirit; Viz "Solemn Spirit"): In its sealed form, it is an average katana with an ornate double-fanned hand guard and a yellowish-green handle.
- Shikai: Its Shikai command is "Pierce" (穿て, ugate; Viz "Bite"). In its Shikai, Gonryōmaru transforms into a rapier.
- Shikai Special Ability: Unknown
- Bankai: Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū (黄煌厳霊離宮, Yellow-Glittering Royal Villa of the Stern Spirit; Viz "Golden Lightning Palace"): Chōjirō raises his Zanpakutō above his head and produces a bolt of lightning from the blade which extends and transforms into a dome of lightning, stationed far above his head and fastened to the ground by a large number of lightning pillars. A single pillar also reaches from the top of the dome toward the sky.
- Bankai Special Ability: Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū is a Bankai that can exert a very powerful Reiatsu. It is capable of affecting the weather similar to the way that Tōshirō Hitsugaya's Hyōrinmaru can, though its power is geared toward thunder and lightning storms, and it brings forth dark clouds to facilitate the use of its powers. Through the use of hand gestures, Chōjirō can direct powerful lightning bolts to strike his opponents from the sky. The lightning is strong enough to scar Yamamoto's forehead.
Appearances in Other Media
|Video Game Appearances|
- Chōjirō is playable in Bleach: Brave Souls in multiple forms, most notably while using his Bankai, Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū, in the first portrayal of Chōjirō himself actually wielding it - here, his Zanpakutō does not change in appearance from its Shikai form while in usage. In this form, Chōjirō is a melee strong attack character with the "Captain Killer" ability who has a chance to inflict Paralysis with every attack. He can unlock "Damage to Paralyzed Enemies +20%", a five-second "Debilitator", "20% Havoc", and "Frenzy", further increasing his chance of inflicting Paralysis. His special is Bankai! "Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū!" (卍解『黄煌厳霊離宮』, Full Release! "Yellow-Glittering Royal Villa of the Stern Spirit!"), where Chōjirō raises his sword to the heavens, creating a roof and pillars of lightning that inflicts immense damage and Paralysis in addition to wreathing him in lightning that damages and inflicts Paralysis on any enemies who touch him for a short time.
- Chōjirō makes his first playable appearance in Bleach: Soul Carnival 2.
- The theme song that Kubo chose for Chōjirō is "Down By The Quay" by the band Minaton on their album One Day in Paradise.
- Chōjirō was voted the 45th most popular character in the third character popularity poll and 28th in the fifth.
- Gonryōmaru ranked 64th in the first Zanpakutō poll and 25th in the second.
- At Sasakibe's funeral, Byakuya revealed that Sasakibe's full name was Chōjirō Tadaoki Sasakibe. Sasakibe is usually known by the name "Chōjirō", which means, "chief second son" or "second son of the main line". His first name, Tadaoki, means "Loyal breath" or "loyal son."
- In the anime, Chōjirō's eyes have pupils, while in the manga they do not have any.
- Chōjirō's Zanpakutō, Gonryōmaru, was depicted as a lightning-type Zanpakutō in the anime-only Zanpakutō Rebellion arc long before it was revealed in the manga, during Chapter 504.
- "Man of little words, always standing by the Captain Commander's side in waiting is Lieutenant, Sasakibe Chōjirō. While they are a famous combination that is easily distinguishable, the only difference between them that cannot be reconciled seems to be their food preference..." - Tite Kubo
- (To Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto) "As a member of your school, I would only be able to imitate you. The role of a right-hand man should be to compensate for those areas which you cannot address!"
- Bleach Official Character Book Souls, page 192
- Bleach Official Bootleg KaraBuri+, page 77
- Bleach Official Character Book 2 MASKED, page 222
- Bleach Official Character Book 2 MASKED; pages 4-5
- Bleach manga; Chapter 504, page 11
- Bleach manga; Chapter 486, page 7
- Bleach manga; Chapter 504, pages 7-12
- Bleach manga; Chapter 486, pages 4-9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 83, page 1
- Bleach manga; Chapter 147, pages 1-4
- Bleach manga; Chapter 152, pages 12-18
- Bleach manga; Chapter 172, page 8
- Bleach manga; Chapter 178, pages 12 & 18
- Bleach manga; Chapter 188, page 18
- Bleach manga; Chapter 224, page 11
- Bleach manga; Chapter 315, pages 2-3
- Bleach anime; Episode 168
- Bleach anime; Episode 185
- Bleach manga; Chapter 365, page 10
- Bleach anime; Episode 310
- Bleach anime; Episodes 230-231
- Bleach manga; Chapter 485, page 7
- Bleach manga; Chapter 503, page 17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 503, pages 11-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 483, page 17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 484, page 7
- Bleach anime; Episode 230
- Bleach manga; Chapter 486, page 5
- Bleach manga; Chapter 152, page 13
- Bleach manga; Chapter 504, page 5
- Bleach manga; Chapter 504, pages 1-7
- 13 BLADEs., page 253
- 13 BLADEs., page 254
- Bleach manga; Chapter 504, page 10
|Lieutenant of the 1st Division
? - 2003 (~110yrs)
Nanao Ise and Genshirō Okikiba