"Justice without a great cause begets nothing more than slaughter. However, that same slaughter in the name of a great cause is justice."
|Height||176 cm (5'9½")|
|Weight||61 kg (134 lbs)|
|Previous Affiliation||Gotei 13, Soul Society|
|Position||Commander of Aizen's Arrancar Army|
|Previous Position||Captain of the 9th Division |
5th Seat of the 9th Division
|Previous Division|| 9th Division |
|Partner||Sōsuke Aizen, Gin Ichimaru|
|Previous Partner||Shūhei Hisagi|
|Base of Operations||Las Noches, Hueco Mundo|
|Bankai||Suzumushi Tsuishiki: Enma Kōrogi|
|Resurrección||Suzumushi Hyakushiki: Grillar Grillo|
|Manga||Volume 10, Chapter 81|
|Video Game||Bleach Advance: Kurenai|
|Spanish||Irwin Daayán (Latin America)|
Kaname Tōsen (東仙 要, Tōsen Kaname) was the captain of the 9th Division of the Gotei 13 until he betrayed Soul Society, alongside Sōsuke Aizen and Gin Ichimaru. This betrayal put him at odds with his former best friend Sajin Komamura, as well as his former lieutenant in the 9th Division, Shūhei Hisagi. He formerly served as the 5th Seat of the 9th Division under Kensei Muguruma.
Tōsen has dark skin and dark brown braids. He has pupil-less eyes that are a pale lavender and has been blind since birth. While a captain he wore the traditional Shinigami uniform with the sleeves rolled up to the shoulders and his captain's haori over it; the uniform is tied with a purple obi sash. He also wore an orange scarf around his neck, white boots (instead of the normal sandals), and black, fingerless gloves. He usually wore clear goggles, although this was not always the case. He kept his hair tied back in a ponytail.
Tōsen, like Sōsuke Aizen and Gin Ichimaru, has changed his outfit after defecting from the Soul Society, wearing clothing similar to the Arrancar and having his braids let down. He wears a white, sleeveless coat over black hakama, white boots, longer gloves, band-like visor, and an orange rope coming from his right shoulder running across his chest to under his left arm. With this outfit, he carries his Zanpakutō. The white coat and black hakama are later changed for a single longer, white robe while his boots are replaced by typical Arrancar footwear. Kaname's Zanpakutō is suspended from a string-like attachment on the left of his robe.
Around 100 years ago, he wore the standard Shinigami uniform with a long-collared white jacket over it. His hair was held backwards and up (somewhat resembling Love Aikawa's current hairstyle), while a mask obscured his mouth and nose, with large goggles covering his eyes and forehead, completely obscuring his face.
Tōsen's creed in life is to "take the path with the least bloodshed"; it was for this reason that he felt it necessary to follow Sōsuke Aizen. Despite this, he knows of Aizen's plan to create the King's Key, which will require the deaths of thousands of innocent people. He was also willing to attack and kill members of his own division while acting as the 5th seat, including Hollowfying his own captain. Tōsen, along with Gin Ichimaru is identified by Kenpachi Zaraki as being afraid of death, this is later confirmed with him saying he only feared being assimilated into the Shinigami culture and dying a pointless death. Also, despite stating many times how much his friend loved the world, he himself never said so, and in fact hated the world that took away his friend and let her killer go free.
As captain of the 9th Division, which is charged with the editing of Seireitei Communication, Tōsen was the chief editor of the journal. He himself wrote a serialization titled "The Path of Justice", which was not very popular, until he began to publish cooking recipes in his articles, which made them more popular among female Shinigami. This also indicates that his specialty is indeed cooking, his favorite dishes being chicken stewed with carrots and other sophisticated ones. He does not like pickled food.
Tōsen also has several unique relationships with the Arrancar. Tōsen thinks of Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez in the same manner as Kenpachi Zaraki; a killing machine that will cause only more bloodshed in the world. Wonderweiss Margela seems to have a large affection towards him. Tōsen explains that this is because they are both pure spirits, and that pure spirits tend to attract and follow each other.'
After using his resurrección and gaining the ability to physically see, Kaname became arrogant and carried away with being able to see with his eyes, and he did not rely on his other senses during battle. This would lead to him falling victim to an attack he could have easily dodged beforehand with the ultimate irony is being able to physically see actually made him more blind than before.
Soul Society arc
During the Ryoka incursion, Tōsen attends an emergency captain's meeting. When Gin Ichimaru asks where the 13th Division captain is, Tōsen explains that he has been excused for injury. However, he remains silent throughout the constant bickering between his fellow officers.
Tōsen and Sajin Komamura discuss the death of Sōsuke Aizen with Retsu Unohana as she finishes the autopsy. She confirms that he is dead, ruling out the possibility that it is a fake body. After her examination, she tells the captains to return to their posts. As they are leaving, their lieutenants, Shūhei Hisagi and Tetsuzaemon Iba appear. Hisagi asks about Captain Aizen, but Tōsen shakes his head. He then announces his intentions of stepping out to the front lines, saying that the fastest way to find out who was behind Aizen's death is ending the Ryoka's invasion.
Tōsen arrives at the 7th Division barracks as Komamura makes his decision. When the 7th Division captain asks about his thoughts, he replies that the road that he sees is the one not dyed in blood. Tōsen tells Komamura that he believes they will walk the same path.
Tōsen, alongside Komamura and their lieutenants, confronts Kenpachi Zaraki over his decision to help the intruders. When Tōsen releases his Bankai (which changes a small area in general), Kenpachi learns that he is unable to see, hear, and sense spirit energy. However, he is still able to fight off Kaname with the sense of touch, as he is able to feel when the blade makes contact with his body. However, Kenpachi becomes frustrated with this style of fighting and lets Kaname impale him with his sword. Kenpachi then grabs hold of Suzumushi's hilt and figures out that only by grabbing Suzumushi is he able to see and hear Kaname. Before Kaname can attack him, Kenpachi grabs Suzumushi once more and manages to gravely wound Kaname, which dispels his Bankai. Tōsen is injured badly, but still tries to fight for his justice; something that makes Kenpachi actually want to kill him out of annoyance. However, before Kenpachi could finish him off, Komamura intervenes, saving Tōsen, but breaking his helmet in the process.
After relieving treatment for his injuries, Tōsen intercepts Renji Abarai and Rukia Kuchiki whom he teleports to Aizen once he is revealed to be a traitor, and watches the several attempts to stop Aizen. Tōsen leaves with Aizen and Gin. As he departs, Komamura demands an explanation from him about where his justice has gone, but Tōsen merely replies that he follows the path with least bloodshed.
Bount arc (anime only)
Now wearing clothing more attuned to those of the Arrancar, Tōsen arrives via the Garganta in the Human World, intervening with Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez when he is about to draw his sword in his fight with Ichigo Kurosaki, suddenly appearing behind Grimmjow. He calmly tells Grimmjow to sheath his sword and when Grimmjow yells at him asking why he is there Tōsen calmly lists his crimes of mobilizing five Arrancar without permission and leading them to their deaths and finally all against orders. But it is only when he says that Aizen is furious that Grimmjow reacts. Tōsen says that they should go and that Grimmjow will be punished in Hueco Mundo and then opens up a Garganta.
After bringing Grimmjow to Aizen in the throne room, Aizen calmly welcomes Grimmjow home. When Tōsen asks Grimmjow if he has anything to say for himself, Grimmjow says he has nothing to say, causing Tōsen to react angrily. This is cause for Aizen to say that things are alright as he is not upset. As Tōsen complains about this, Aizen assumes that Grimmjow only did it out of loyalty to him and asks Grimmjow if he was right. Tōsen, however, grabs Grimmjow by his collar and asks Aizen for permission to execute him. By these actions, Grimmjow asks if he has a personal grudge against him and if he should really act like that seeing that he is a commanding officer. Tōsen only berates Grimmjow about his justice saying that justice without a great cause is only slaughter, but that same slaughter with a great cause is justice. Tōsen then draws his Zanpakutō and quickly slices off Grimmjow's left arm and then destroys the arm with a Kidō Blast, as a form of punishment. As Grimmjow is about to attack Tōsen, Aizen stops him saying that if he does he will no longer have a reason to pardon him.
Hueco Mundo arc
While Ichigo and his friends invade Hueco Mundo, Kaname is present in a meeting with Aizen, Gin, and the Espada. When Aizen sits down, Tōsen and Gin stand by his sides and by Aizen's orders, Tōsen then moves a switch to activate a holographic projector to display a holographic visual on the table. When Grimmjow leaves the room, Tōsen asks where he was going only for Grimmjow to respond violently that he is going to slaughter them. When Tōsen tells him that he has yet to receive any orders from Aizen, Grimmjow says that it is on Aizen's behalf that he is going to kill them. Tōsen, however, is stopped by Aizen who stops Grimmjow himself with a threat of his spiritual pressure.
Later, Tōsen somehow monitors the intruders on a computer terminal, despite his blindness. He is approached by Gin who calls it a bad hobby of his, but Tōsen comments that he too must be worried about the intruders since he came too, only for Gin to be saying that he was joking. When Gin tries to enter he is stopped by Wonderweiss Margela and asks Tōsen to deal with him. As Gin notes how Wonderweiss has gotten attached to Tōsen, Tōsen goes on to explain how pure beings tend to be attracted to one another although he has yet to determine how Wonderweiss is a pure being. Gin then sees that they have passed into the "Den of Tres Cifras". When Wonderweiss begins to stutter "Tres", Tōsen explains how the former demoted Espada have been given a three digit number.
After the 5th Espada, Nnoitra Gilga, is killed by Kenpachi Zaraki, Tōsen is with Gin and Aizen, when Aizen announces that the entire kidnapping of Orihime Inoue was a ruse on his part to deprive Soul Society of a valuable military asset. On Aizen's orders he opens a path to Karakura Town and leaves with Aizen and Gin to the Human World.
Fake Karakura Town arc
- Reiatsu Concealing Cloak: A cloak created by Urahara which hides the wearer's spiritual pressure. By incorporating Kidō into the cloak, Aizen states it allows the wearer to blend in with the air around them, almost completely concealing them from sight. Tōsen used this cloak to accompany Aizen when he struck Isshin Shiba down.
Powers & Abilities
Master Swordsman: Though he has a personal philosophy that questions the need for violence, Tōsen is highly proficient in wielding his Zanpakutō, which is further impressive with his blindness. During his days as the 5th seated officer of the 9th Division, he was able to fight at a captain's level, going toe-to-toe with Shinji Hirako (although Shinji was focused on halting his Hollowfication process at the time). Tōsen's swordsmanship mastery is even further emphasized by him holding his own against Kenpachi Zaraki, one of Soul Society's foremost experts in swordsmanship, even if it was only for a short time. He can even hold his own and fight both Sajin Komamura and his former lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi simultaneously.
Hakuda Combatant: While relying mostly on his sword skills, Tōsen is also competent in hand-to-hand combat, using swift and powerful kicks to easily overpower and throw around other skilled fighters like Sajin Komamura, despite the massive difference in size.
Great Spiritual Power: As the former captain of the 9th Division of the Gotei 13, Tōsen boasts a great amount of spiritual energy. His skill in the use of his spiritual power is evident, as he uses his spiritual sense to "see". His Reiatsu is pink.
Descorrer (解空(デスコレール), Desukorēru; Spanish for "Drawing Back/Opening", Japanese for "Loosed Void"): A technique used by Espada-level Arrancar, and sometimes others, to open a Garganta between the Human World and Hueco Mundo. Tōsen used this to return to Hueco Mundo from Karakura Town.
Enhanced Durability: Tōsen is considerably durable, having withstood a powerful kick from Kenpachi into a wall and emerging unharmed after.
Suzumushi (清虫, Cricket; Viz "Bell Bug"): In its sealed state, Suzumushi looks like a regular katana with an orange hilt. The tsuba has a teardrop shape, with the base of the drop arcing over the top of the blade, and the point of the drop pointing below the cutting edge. A row of several tiny teardrop-shaped holes decorates the bottom of the curve, and a small ring, approximately 2" in diameter, dangles off the tip of the tear-drop. The ring itself plays a vital role in the activation of Tōsen's Bankai.
- Shikai: Unlike most Zanpakutō, Suzumushi has two Shikai commands, each producing a unique automatic effect.
- Shikai Special Ability: Suzumushi maintains its form of a regular katana. Suzumushi's release command is "Cry" (鳴け, nake; Viz "Howl"), which projects a high-pitched tone over a wide area, overloading the hearing of anyone in range and knocking them unconscious. This comparatively humane and painless technique fits with Tōsen's self-presentation as a proponent of justice. The ring tone is produced by the vibration of Suzumushi, which Tōsen used to free his sword from the chains of Hisagi's Kazeshini.
- Suzumushi Nishiki: Benihikō (清虫二式紅飛蝗, Cricket 2nd Movement: Crimson Flying Locusts): A technique which changes Suzumushi into its Benihikō form. Suzumushi vibrates momentarily and, after Tōsen moves the blade around him in a semi-circle, a trail appears, following the sword's path. The trail turns into hundreds of blades, which rain down on his opponents.
- Bankai: Suzumushi Tsuishiki: Enma Kōrogi (清虫終式閻魔蟋蟀, Cricket Final Form: Devil Cricket; Viz "Bell Bug Closing Ceremony: Field Cricket"): Suzumushi maintains its form of a regular katana, though without the small ring. Tōsen holds up his sword in his right hand, and places his left palm against the ring on his cross guard. The ring begins to spin as it releases spiritual energy. As it spins faster, the circle grows bigger and bigger until it's large enough to surround his body. The ring then splits into ten other glowing rings of similar size that encircle Tōsen. With a slash of his sword, the circles go flying outwards and form a circular perimeter over a large area. Once in position, the ten rings begin to generate a black void, which grows in size until it forms a large black dome, which is centered around Tōsen's body and anchored to the ground by the ten rings.
- Bankai Special Ability: The dome creates a vacuum that nullifies the senses of spiritual energy, sight, sound, and scent, what Tōsen calls Mumyō (無明, lit. "No Light", popularly known as "Avidya" and defined as "Ignorance (of Buddhist teachings)"). The only sense the victim retains is that of touch. Unlike with some Zanpakutō, Suzumushi does not convert itself into the massive dome that it creates during Bankai. Instead, the dome serves as a separate extension of Suzumushi itself, allowing Tōsen to wield its sealed form as a weapon while inside the dome, but preventing him from using its abilities. The technique's main shortcoming is that anyone, not just Tōsen himself, touching Suzumushi's hilt is immune to the dome's effects, so anyone able to grab Suzumushi recovers their senses. The dome only exists as long as Tōsen wills it to, or if he happens to become seriously injured; in either circumstance, the dome shreds apart and dissipates.
- Resurrección: Suzumushi Hyakushiki: Grillar Grillo (清虫百式狂枷蟋蟀 (グリジャル・グリージョ), Gurijaru Gurījo; Spanish for "Chirping Cricket,"Japanese for "Bell Cricket Hundredth Style: Insane-Fettered Cricket"; Viz "Bell Bug Hundredth Ceremony: Crazed Cricket") Tōsen begins the release by holding his Zanpakutō upside down. The release envelops him in darkness, transforming him into a bestial Hollow-like creature. In this form, he becomes hunched over, and his entire body is covered with black fur, with a large Hollow hole in his torso. He also possesses four insect-like arms with clawed hands. On the hunch on his back are two long, spiraling horns, each adorned near the points with two rings with chains hanging from them. His head resembles a cricket, with a bilateral line running down the center, large bulbous eyes (which give him sight) and large rings hanging from the side protrusions. At the bottom of the head is a small opening where his mouth is, which has jagged teeth. He has a long, bushy tail, and a double pair of insect wings. While in this form, he also gains the ability to see, which he arrogantly boasted about. In this form, his Reiatsu is black, with a purple outline.
- Resurrección Special Ability: In this form, Tōsen has enhanced versions of his sound-based abilities.
- Immense Strength: Tōsen's Resurrección grants him increased strength, as he grabbed hold of Sajin Komamura's Bankai when it attacked him, and crushed a portion of its blade with one hand.
- Los Nueve Aspectos (九相輪殺 (ロス・ヌウェベ・アスペクトス), Rosu Nuwebe Asupekutosu; Spanish for "The Nine Aspects", Japanese for "Nine Aspects Ringed-Kill"): Tōsen draws lime-green circles in the air with his claws, creating a massive burst of sound-based concussive force that reverberates out with crushing power. This technique is capable of dealing a fatal blow to Sajin Komamura's Bankai with relative ease.
Hollow Mask: Tōsen's Hollow mask covers most of his head, neck, and throat, with the exception of a small hole in the back for his hair. It has a smooth white surface, with the only feature being a bilateral line down the middle, separating the mask into two portions. Tōsen's outfit also changes: he loses the orange strap on his shoulder, and gains a chest plate and a pair of small slim shoulder guards with designs similar to his mask. It is able to open up at the mouth area. When it does, vertical lines appear on the top and bottom, giving it the look of teeth.
- Power Augmentation: While wearing the mask, Tōsen's Hollow powers supplement his Shinigami powers, giving him a vast increase in both strength and speed.
- Enhanced Strength: While wearing his Hollow mask, Tōsen gains greater strength. He effortlessly blocks Tenken and kicks Komamura, sending him crashing into the buildings below.
- Enhanced Speed: While wearing his Hollow mask, Tōsen gains enhanced speed, which he uses to overwhelm Hisagi and Komamura.
- High-Speed Regeneration: While wearing his Hollow mask, Tōsen is able to heal his mangled arm, to the point where it does not show any signs that it was injured.
Hearing Impairment: Neuro-shutdown does not work on the deaf.
Touch Nullification (Bankai): The Bankai technique's main shortcoming is that anyone, not just Tōsen himself, touching Suzumushi's hilt is immune to the dome's effects, so anyone able to grab Suzumushi recovers their senses. The dome only exists as long as Tōsen wills it to, or if he happens to become seriously injured; in either circumstance, the dome shreds apart and dissipates.
Appearances in Other Media
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- Kaname has his own Bleach Beat Collection in the Third Session, where Toshiyuki Morikawa performs two tracks as Kaname: "Banshū no Oto (Sound of Autumn)" and "Hoshi (Star)." The collection also includes a voice message.
- Kaname features in the fifth volume of Bleach "B" Station's second season.
- BuriCon - Bleach Concept Covers features Kaname performing "Thank You!!." alongside Shūhei Hisagi.
- Kaname appears in the fifth through to eighth editions of the Rock Musical Bleach, where he is played by Masahiro Kuranuki.
- Tōsen appears in the majority of Bleach games to date, including the Heat the Soul series and the series for the DS. In these games, the player can use his Bankai, becoming invisible to any live players, but against a computer, gameplay does not change all that much.
- His Shikai abilities also play a vital role, with his Benihiko being a quick attack in Shattered Blade and one of the greatest projectile attacks in Blade of Fate.
- Tōsen appears at the end of the second anime OVA, Sealed Sword Frenzy, with Aizen and Gin before Gin bids the audience adieu.
- After Kenpachi was hit by Tōsen's Suzumushi Nishiki: Benihikō, he was less injured in the anime compared to the manga.
- When Tōsen impaled Kenpachi, and when Kenpachi managed to slash Tōsen, twice, there was less blood shown in the anime compared to the manga, and Tōsen's slash wound isn't as visible in the anime either.
- Tōsen's eyes without his visor are depicted differently in the anime than in the manga. In the manga, his eyes were open and lacked pupils. In the anime however, his eyes were merely closed.
- "The speckle of light present in enclosed darkness." - Tite Kubo
- The theme song that Kubo chose for Tōsen is "Battle Lines" by the artist John Wetton on his album Voice Mail.
- Tōsen was voted the 26th most popular character in the third character popularity poll, 33rd in the fourth, and 37th in the fifth.
- Suzumushi ranked 40th in the first Zanpakutō poll and 26th in the second.
- In the second best bout poll, Tōsen's fight with Sajin Komamura and Shūhei Hisagi ranked 11th and his fight with Kenpachi Zaraki ranked 53rd.
- In omakes, he seems to be capable of living normally, despite his blindness.
- While the anime portrays his hair as a purple color, Tite Kubo's official art shows him with black.
- The manga is inconsistent with the number of rings in Tōsen's Bankai, using 9 or 10 respectively, although the anime is consistent with 9 rings.
- Tōsen was the author of a serialized article in the Seireitei Communication titled The Path of Justice (正義の道, Seigi no Michi), which was never cancelled despite its unpopularity due to Tōsen's position as Editor-in-Chief. The column used to focus on themes like "What is Justice". However, Tōsen had started exploring others ideas like Recipe for Justice (正義のレシピ, Seigi no Reshipi), which contained cooking recipes. As a result, the column started gaining in popularity, especially among female Shinigami.
- (To Kenpachi Zaraki) "Even if you try to guess my position from where you were attacked, you will not be able to catch me. Because no matter how experienced a fighter is, after he is stripped of light, he can't help but fear the darkness. No matter how slight that fear is, the fighter's movements will be slowed down."
- (Eulogizing his friend) "Her desire for a peaceful world that was stronger than anyone's...Her sense of justice that was stronger than anyone's...she chose to fight for her beliefs, but in the end, she died before she could even start. Was she lacking something? Is it not enough to have a strong will in order to fight for peace and justice? In that case, I want strength. I want the strength to help me create peace. If it is not enough to believe in justice, then I will become justice. I will seek out the evils in this world and wipe them out like the clouds in the sky. I swear I will... for justice."
- (To Sajin Komamura) "I already told you, Komamura. The path that harmonizes with my view is naught but the path that is least drenched in blood. There it is where justice always is. The very path that I tread upon is the one of justice."
- (To Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez) "Justice without a great cause begets nothing more than slaughter. However, that same slaughter in the name of a great cause is justice."
- (To Shūhei Hisagi) "I believe I told you. Those who know not fear have no right to stand in battle. You have not changed in the slightest. In the words that you just spoke to me, I sensed not the slightest fragment of fear."
- (To Sajin Komamura) "Why must changing from a Shinigami to something closer to a Hollow constitute debasement? Your words stem from stunted, two-dimensional principles, identifying Shinigami as righteous and Hollows as evil."
- (To Shūhei Hisagi after stabbing him) "Oh, I have fear. For the past hundred years, I have been afraid - afraid of dying like the rest of you Shinigami."
- (To Sajin Komamura) "You said that I have 'debased' myself, yes? Deceiving my friends and subordinates in order to obtain power. Then let me ask you this. Joining an organisation for the sake of revenge, yet in the course of one's peaceful life there, forgetting that objective and coming to serve that organisation happily... would you not call that debasement? Though my eyes see not, they perceive the latter situation as far more self-debasing than the first."
- (To Sajin Komamura) "Yet what is justice?! To forgive the one who killed my beloved friend?! Certainly, that would be an act of 'goodness'! A beautiful act! Almost too beautiful to behold!! But is 'goodness' the same thing as 'justice'?! No! To live out my own peaceful life, never avenging the regrets of the departed, would be evil!"
- (To Sajin Komamura) "She truly loved this world. That is why she became a Shinigami, to fight for justice. And I did not wish to allow that justice for which she fought to go unrealized. I swore to devote my own life to carrying on her wish. That is why I became a Shinigami."
- (To Sajin Komamura) "Justice is not something that can be expressed in mere words."