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Espada
Espada gathering
Organization
Founder(s) Sosuke Aizen
Headquarters Las Noches, Hueco Mundo
Leader(s) Three Pillars
Affiliation Arrancar Army
Purpose Unknown

The Espada (十刃 (エスパーダ), Esupāda; Spanish for "Sword", Japanese for "Ten Blades") are the ten Arrancar that rule over Hueco Mundo, originating regarded as the most powerful Arrancar that were gathered together by Sōsuke Aizen. After the war with the Wandenreich, the Espada were restaffed under the lead of the 'Tres Pilares' — Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, Tier Harribel, and Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck.

Overview

The Espada are composed of ten Arrancar with exemplary strength. Similar to the power gap between Captains and Lieutenants in the Gotei 13, the strength of the Espada far surpasses that of the average Arrancar. Members of the Espada are given a number 1-10, with the Décimo (10th) Espada also holding the rank of Cero (0). Each Espada has a tattoo with their number, although the locations differs according to personal preference. Although they were almost completely wiped out in the war against the Soul Society, their leaders, the Three Pillars, restaffed the Espada; gathering Arrancar with exceptional strength and abilities to join the reformed organization. The immense amount of power jointly held by the group poses a serious threat to the Gotei 13.

There seems to be a sort of hierarchy among the Espada; a higher-ranked member apparently can give orders to lower-ranked members. Various missions usually involve one or more Espada operating together, with the most senior member exercising command over the others. While the lower-ranked members usually have little restraint in taking their own initiative (thus exceeding their orders), higher-ranked members usually stick to commands, and are often the first to bail the others out of trouble as they wish to prevent the Espada from losing one of their own. While Harribel and Nelliel adhere to this pact of protection, Grimmjow's attitude toward the offending Espada members seems to be one of leniency or apathy, and so long as tasks are completed he pays little heed to whether or not order is observed. The Espada are also able to exert command over various Arrancar of lesser power whose remnants still reside in Las Noches such as the Números and the Exequias. They also hold the authority to create their Fracción, or team of subordinates.

Aside from regularly appearing in Aizen's throne room and the debriefing room, the Espada are known to have their own quarters within Las Noches. Those that have been seen appear to have been modified to suit the specific Espada's taste. Although their current purpose is unknown, they are allowed to move at will throughout Hueco Mundo and will sometimes use the Garganta to travel to the Human World and the Soul Society. They are also searching for Vasto Lorde, although it is unknown whether this is because they wish to boost their numbers or destroy perceived threats.

According to Ulquiorra, any Espada ranked 4th or higher are not allowed to release their Zanpakutō within Las Noches, nor are any Espada allowed to discharge a Gran Rey Cero as both are powerful enough to destroy the majority of Las Noches.

History

The creation of the Espada had long been one of Aizen's most important preoccupations, and while it is not known when the Espada were first established as a group, the original Espada were already in existence sometime before Aizen's defection from the Soul Society and acquisition of the Hōgyoku. Since then, the composition of the Espada has changed, both in membership and position.

Being Aizen's most direct subordinates, the Espada were privy to several of Aizen's plans and most intimate secrets, such as his goals of destroying Karakura Town. After the Espada were destroyed by the Gotei 13 and Aizen's plot foiled, Tier Harribel briefly became the ruler of Hueco Mundo until she was personally defeated and captured by Yhwach and eventually killed. The Quincy empire claimed Hueco Mundo as their dominion, as well as another foundation stone to invade Soul Society. After their defeat at the hands of Ichigo Kurosaki and the Gotei 13, the Three Pillars collectively came to power and became known as the rulers of Hueco Mundo.

Organization

Three Pillars

The Tres Pilares (三中枢 (トレス・ピレーレズ), Toresu Pireresu; Spanish for "Three Pillars", Japanese for "Three Backbones") are the rulers of Hueco Mundo and, by extension, the leaders of the ten Arrancar whom compose the Espada. They came to power after the defeat of the Wandenreich. While there are disparities in their power, there is an equal degree of leadership spread between the three of them, and no single Arrancar among them has greater sway than the others. The three of them are;

Espada Members

Espada
Rank Name Zanpakutō Tattoo Location Aspect of Death
Primera (1st)N/A---------
Segunda (2nd)N/A---------
Tercera (3rd)N/A---------
Cuatro (4th)N/A---------
Quinto (5th)N/A---------
Sexta (6th)N/A---------
Séptima (7th)N/A---------
Octava (8th)N/A---------
Noveno (9th)N/A---------
Décimo (10th)------------

Former Espada

Exclusive Techniques

  • Caja Negación (反膜の匪 (カハ・ネガシオン) kaha negashion, Spanish for "Negation Box", Japanese for "Anti-Membrane of Negation") is a variant of the Gillian-exclusive ability Negación used to punish Arrancar subordinates by trapping them eternally in an alternate dimension. However, should the Caja Negación be used on an Espada, the Espada will eventually break out of the alternate dimension (usually within a few hours), due to their large amount of Reiatsu.
  • Gran Rey Cero (王虚の閃光 (グラン・レイ・セロ), guran rei sero, Spanish for "Grand King Zero", Japanese for "Royal Hollow Flash") is a very strong Cero. To perform this potent variation of the Cero, the Arrancar first draws blood from the Cero-generating appendage using their Zanpakutō, then charges the Cero while mixing the blood with it. The result is a Cero with a much greater attack power and speed, as well as a change of color unique to the Espada. This attack was first used by Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez in order to incite Ichigo Kurosaki into donning his Hollow mask. Grimmjow refers to it as, "the ultimate Cero". According to Ulquiorra Cifer, it is forbidden for any of the Espada to perform Gran Ray Cero within Las Noches, as it could possibly destroy most of the enormous structure.

Notes

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