The notorious Black Ops of the Soul Society, the Gotei 13, was a mysterious group, as their history and formation were never known to us.
But no more, now with the anime-only flashback and the below image by the author, Kubo, we finally have a glimpse at their history.
Let’s not waste time and learn about the formation of Gotei 13!
History Of Gotei 13
Thousands of years ago, the Seireitei was a land of death, a place without order and terrifying monsters and souls rampaging around.
It was pure hell, and there were those who maintained order during this time, they were known as the Balancers.
As the name suggests, they maintained balance throughout the three realms, which are the realm of the living, soul society, and Hueco Mundo. If they had not maintained the balance, all three realms would have collapsed.
To achieve it, they had to ensure perfect harmony between the souls passing through the world of living and dealing with hollows by handling them through purification.
But this was not enough, as the Soul Society also needed to be governed. This is when Genryusai Yamamoto stepped up.
He decided to create an organization to bring order to the chaos, a special unit with an organized hierarchy and structure.
With the collaboration of many strong people like Yachiru Unohana, the first Gotei 13 was formed.
The newly formed Gotei 13 was completely different compared to the one we saw during the main story events.
Yamamoto of this era was not just strong but much more brutal. He even viewed his subordinates as expendable and used violence to enforce the order.
Yhwach explained that these Gotei 13 were defenders only in name, as they consisted of a brutal mob of killers! Each member was a highly violent and exceptionally strong fighter.
Eventually, when Quincies attacked the Seiretei, the Gotei 13 completely destroyed them.
Now let’s see who these monsters were from Gotei 13!
The Original Gotei 13 Captains
Let’s start with the two captains we are already acquainted with, Genryusai and Unohona.
During this era, Yamamoto was a stern, diligent, and strong captain. By many, he was considered the strongest soul reaper to ever exist.
Where his Bankai alone could destroy all of Soul Society, but it’s not just that. He was also a master in Kido and martial arts.
Yamamoto lived for a thousand years and maintained his leadership of the first division of the Gotei 13 until his passing at the hands of Yhwach.
Yachiru Unohana was one of the most feared convicts in the Seireitei as well as the First Kenpachi!
She had an intense desire for battle, so she could bathe in the blood of her enemies.
Yamato later recruits Unohana and pledges loyalty to Gotei 13. She also earned the reputation of being the most ruthless shinigami to exist.
The flashback shows that the Quincy attack occurred after her fight with Zaraki, as the scar he gave her was still on her.
Unohana survived countless battles, maintaining her position as a later captain. She only died as it was necessary for her objective, which was for Zaraki Kenchpai to unlock his Bankai.
Moving towards members that are not in the manga, We begin with Chika Shihoin of the Shihoin family.
Just like her predecessor, Yorrichi, Chika also had that lovely darker skin tone and Yellow eyes.
Being from the Shihoin family, it is obvious that she was the first captain of Squad 2 and led the Onmitsukido of her time.
Though not much was revealed about his ability, we do know that he displayed exceptional spiritual pressure and strength as he killed a Quincy with a single kick!
The first captain of Squad 13, Kinroku Izuhara, stands out due to his glasses.
Whenever Kubo has drawn a character with glass, this tends to have a conniving and manipulative nature. Aizen and Espada number 8 are prime examples.
Izuhra was very powerful and had great spiritual pressure. He was also a master swordsman with complete control over Zanjustsu.
Zanjutsu is one of the four main sword styles of the Gotei 13.
This was displayed when he calculated precise slashes aimed at the throat of a Quincy. This also showcased his calculative nature.
The first captain of Squad 4, Chigiri Shijima, was, just like his peers, a pure and utter savage.
His swordsmanship was incredible, as he decapitated several Quincies with just his sealed Zanakuto!
With his closed eyes and pale skin, some believe him to be Gin’s ancestor, though not much is known about Gin’s family.
Danjiro Obana was the first captain of Squad 5. His mannerisms and face structure with sideburns are very similar to those of the Shiba clan.
Similar to other Gotei 13 members, he was a master swordsman capable of defeating quinies while precisely dismembering them.
Due to his similarity in looks with the Shiba clan, many believe him to be the ancestor of Danjiro and Ichigo.
If he is an ancestor of Ichigo, he may also possess a technique similar to Getsuga Tenshou.
The first Captain of Squad 6, Furoshushi Saito, had two purple pigtails, and her eyepatch is reminiscent of that of Kenpachi Zaraki.
Saito’s character design most closely resembles Riruka from the Fullbring Arc. Just like her college at Gotei 13, she also possesses great spiritual pressure and expert swordsmanship.
Her swordsmanship was displayed when she decapitated multiple quincies at once!
The original captain of Squad 7 was Nobutsune Shigyo. He has pale skin, with his rib cage showing as if he is a skeleton.
Shigyo possessed immense spiritual energy, with which he easily overcame the quincies.
Batsu’unsai Katori, the first captain of Squad 8, has pretty long black hair and round glasses.
She looks very similar to Lisa Yadomaru, and unlike many other captains on this list, we actually get to see her Shikai.
Her Shikai takes the shape of a long spear with a white, double-edged blade.
It looks very similar to Ikaku’s Hozikumru, perhaps both may share some of them.
She possesses great spiritual pressure and is an expert in Naginatajustus, a traditional Japanese martial art that focuses on mastering the spear.
Katori demonstrated proficiency as she chopped the enemies with ease. Although she might also be one of the weaker members of the original Gotei 13, almost everyone else did not use their Shikai to deal with the quincies.
The first captain of Squad 9, Enetsu Kumoi, features yellow teeth and a bald head.
He is the ancestor of Gyokaku Kummoi, one of the characters that got featured in a filler arc.
Similar to Katori, Kumoi’s shikai was also revealed. It takes the form of a thin kanabo comprised of long, dark blue rods with rings.
Kumoi possesses incredible strength, with which he was able to crush a quincy’s body in a single blow.
Furoki Otgawa is the captain of Squad 10 and wears a Straw hat. The hat he wears is often associated with the samurai of feudal Japan.
Yhwach described Otogwa as having the face of a cold-hearted killer, which is later demonstrated as he murders countless quincy with a stone-cold face.
The captain of Squad 12, Uhin Zenjoji, has one of the most unique character designs in the series.
He has a round figure and features a pair of thin braided hair with a shaved head in the middle. He also has a Red U-shared marking running through his face.
Zenjoji might be the strongest Shinigami in terms of brute physical strength. He dispatched two enemies at the same time by crushing their heads with little to no effort!
Finally, Saizo Sakhone is the first captain of Squad 13 and shares the same name as the Sakahone district of east Runkongai.
The late Squad 13 captain Jushiro was also from the Sakahone district! So many believe that they may share some connection.
Sakahone is one of the oldest soul reapers and may even predate Yamamoto!
He features a hunched-back and skeletal figure, with one eye being completely black. This makes him look like nothing more than a walking corpse.
Despite such a frail form, he is a pure monster with great spiritual pressure and battle IQ. He easily killed multiple quincies.