The Soul King (霊王, Reiō) is the supposed ruler of Soul Society who resides in the Soul King Palace and is protected by the Royal Guard. In reality, he is a god that has been sealed, and his existence is tied to that of Soul Society, the Human World, and even Hueco Mundo. The Soul King is the father of Yhwach.
The Soul King is humanoid in physique, with slicked-back dark hair, oval eyes and very thin eyebrows. His eyes are very unusual, each having four black irises. He does not have any arms or legs. The Soul King is sealed within an unusual barrier that is suspended by four wires in a large, elegant room.
Purpose and Duties
The Soul King's sole purpose is to regulate the flow of souls into and out of Soul Society and keep the flow stable. Without the Soul King, the balance is lost and Soul Society, as well as the Dangai, Hueco Mundo, and the Human World, will all collapse into one. According to Yhwach, this results in the unification of life and death and the creation of a world without the fear of death.
At some point in history, the Soul King's limbs and organs were separated from his body, gaining sentience as deities with their own respective powers; two of which joined Yhwach's Sternritters as his Schutzstaffel. After that, he was sealed up and had restraints placed on his powers by the Shinigami.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc
Shortly after the Royal Guard travel to the Seireitei and retrieve Ichigo Kurosaki and his Shinigami friends so they can heal and train in the Soul King Palace, the Soul King is approached by a retainer, who watches over the Soul King and inquires if he has awoken when the Soul King opens his eyes. A few days later, Yhwach, his son, arrives at the Soul King Palace and proceeds to slaughter many of the Soul King's vassals and subjects before arriving in the Soul King's room and stabbing him through the chest.
Soon afterward, Ichigo and his friends arrive in the room, where Yhwach reveals the Soul King's situation to them before claiming they are too late to do anything. When Ichigo attempts to help the king by pulling out Yhwach's sword, Blut Vene veins spread over his right side and force him to slash the Soul King across the torso. Yhwach explains Ichigo's actions by revealing that Quincy blood cannot tolerate the Soul King's existence.
As the lower half of the Soul King's body and containment pod fall to the ground, Yhwach explains to Ichigo how he forced Ichigo to attack him by giving the Reiatsu still present in his sword to him, which his blood reacted to. When Orihime attempts to revive the Soul King, her Sōten Kisshun shatters, prompting Yhwach to proclaim that the Soul King will never rise again.
However, in the Seireitei below, Jūshirō Ukitake, who was once saved by Mimihagi, the right hand of the Soul King, initiates Kamikake to save the Soul King's life at the cost of his own. Upon doing so, a large black hand bursts out of his orifices and ascends toward the palace, where it grabs the upper half of the Soul King's body. Shocked by this, Yhwach notes that Mimihagi is the one thing that his eyes cannot predict and demands to know if the Soul King is beginning to feel sentimental toward Soul Society after protecting it for all this time as the eye of Mimihagi begins to close.
Yhwach attempts to destroy both the Soul King and Mimihagi, but Ichigo stops him by grabbing his arm and dispelling his attack, allowing Yoruichi to leap past them and create a Kidō barrier around the Soul King with several seals. Yoruichi notes that Mimihagi has stabilized the king before proclaiming that they will have to replace him. However, when Yoruichi momentarily loses her concentration due to Uryū Ishida shooting her in the shoulder, the barrier shatters, sending the top half of the Soul King flying toward Yhwach, who rips Mimihagi off of it. After absorbing Mimihagi, Yhwach completely absorbs the Soul King.
Powers & Abilities
Immeasurable Spiritual Power: The Soul King has an incomparably immense amount of Spiritual Power. When Yhwach, who possesses vast amounts of Reiryoku himself, absorbs the Soul King, the Quincy Emperor collapses from the sheer strain, needing time for his body to fully acclimate to it. During this period, the Soul King's Reiatsu pours out of Yhwach to such a degree that it manifests as countless "shadow creatures" that threaten to destroy the Seireitei. After Yhwach completes the absorption, he then proclaims he now knows what it feels like to be overflowing with power. A further testament to the Soul King's power is that even two of his severed body parts, his left arm and his heart, retain enough Reiryoku for Yhwach to acknowledge them as members of his personal guard, the Schutzstaffel.
Precognitive Immunity: According to Yhwach, the Soul King and any of his body parts, such as Mimihagi, are immune to the precognitive abilities of The Almighty, which keeps them from appearing in any of Yhwach's visions, even when they are in the same room in the future.
- Power Restraints: The Soul King has restraints placed upon him by the Shinigami, which prevents him from moving.
Sentient Body Parts
Various parts of the Soul King have been separated from the main body and attained sentience. They each have their own names, personalities, and abilities.
|Soul King's Body Parts|
|Body Part||Name||Unique Ability||Appearance|
|Right Arm||Mimihagi||The right arm governs stagnation and stillness: the stopping of development, growth, progress, and change. It could prevent anything that tries to change or develop from happening.|
|Left Arm||Pernida Parnkgjas||The left arm governs progression and advancement: the enhancement of oneself and others via accelerated evolution. Yhwach names this ability The Compulsory.|
|Heart||Gerard Valkyrie||The heart manifests "miracles" by giving form to the thoughts, feelings, and desires of the user and those around him. Yhwach names this ability The Miracle.|
- In his first appearance in Chapter 519, the Soul King's silhouette appears to have arms and legs. In all subsequent appearances, his arms and legs are removed.
- The Soul King, his body parts, and his son all have unusual eyes and many of them share an eye motif.
- Pernida and Gerard both identify as Quincy. When Mayuri Kurotsuchi confronts Pernida about this, the left arm asserts it has always been a Quincy.
- Despite being the supposed ruler of Soul Society, according to Jugram Haschwalth, the Soul King's true enemy is none other than the Shinigami, who had sealed him. This is supported when a torrent of the Soul King's power attacks the Shinigami and ignores the nearby Quincy. Yhwach is perplexed by Mimihagi, who aids the Shinigami, and concludes that the Soul King's "will" is no longer in the right arm.
- Sōsuke Aizen and Kisuke Urahara refer to the Soul King as a "thing" and an "it".
- The Soul King's name, Reiō (霊王), can actually be translated in two different ways: while ō (王) translates to "king", Rei (霊) can either translate to "Spirit"/"Soul" or "Zero". Hence, his name could alternatively be read as "Zero King".
Appearances in Other Media
- Bleach manga; Chapter 223, page 7
- Bleach manga; Chapter 612, page 1
- Bleach manga; Chapter 611, page 15
- Bleach manga; Chapter 611, page 17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 519, pages 16-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 615, page 2
- Bleach manga; Chapter 612, page 3
- Bleach manga; Chapter 614, page 12
- Bleach manga; Chapter 615, page 14
- Bleach manga; Chapter 686, pages 12-13
- Bleach manga; Chapter 564, pages 7-8
- Bleach manga; Chapter 621, page 9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 611, pages 16-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 612, pages 1-3
- Bleach manga; Chapter 614, pages 10-16
- Bleach manga; Chapter 615, pages 2-5
- Bleach manga; Chapter 615, pages 16-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 616, pages 4-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 617, pages 1-9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 618, pages 9-12
- Bleach manga; Chapter 619, pages 7-16
- Bleach manga; Chapter 620, pages 14-16
- Bleach manga; Chapter 625, page 17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 621, page 8
- Bleach manga; Chapter 626, pages 12-13
- Bleach manga; Chapter 637, page 9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 656, page 6
- Bleach manga; Chapter 519, page 4
- Bleach manga; Chapter 612, page 2
- Bleach manga; Chapter 617, pages 6-8
- Bleach manga; Chapter 616, page 12
- Bleach manga; Chapter 639, page 6
- Bleach manga; Chapter 656, page 3
- Bleach manga; Chapter 668, page 2
- Bleach manga; Chapter 656, pages 3-4
- Bleach manga; Chapter 640, pages 8-11
- Bleach manga; Chapter 618, page 9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 421, pages 19-20
|Soul King||Soul King • Heart • Left Arm • Right Arm|
|Soul King Hosts||Yhwach • Jūshirō Ukitake • Hikone Ubuginu • Aura Michibane • Rangiku Matsumoto • Fullbringers|
|Soul King Palace||Soul King Palace • Gatonden • Hōōden • Kirinden|
|Royal Guard||Kirio Hikifune • Ichibē Hyōsube • Senjumaru Shutara • Tenjirō Kirinji • Ōetsu Nimaiya|
|Related Articles||Ōken • Ōin • Soul King Palace Residents • The Almighty|