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This article, Gotei 13 (Ace of Skulls), was added by Ace of Skulls who determines its usage on this wiki.

Gotei 13
Kanji 護廷十三隊
Romaji {{{romaji}}}
Headquarters Seireitei
Affiliation Soul Society
Order of the Seijin
Purpose Primary Defense/Offense force of Soul Society

Credit to Seireitou for a large portion of the Information on this page.

The Gotei 13 (護廷十三隊, goteijūsantai; 13 Division Imperial Guards, or 13 Court Guard Squads in the English dub) is the organization which most Shinigami join, and one of the three main branches of military in Soul Society. It is split into thirteen divisions (hence the name), with several divisions having certain specializations. The Gotei 13 is subservient to the edicts of the Central 46 Chambers. They also have no jurisdiction over any of the noble families. The symbol of the Gotei 13 is a rhombus, all the 13 Divisions symbols are placed within the rhombus on the back of the Captains haori. The Kido Corps, not officially considered as part of the Gotei 13, is still under the authority of the Central 46, and works together with Soul Society, it is why it is actually here, but officially, both Kido Corps and Omnitsukido are not part of the Gotei 13.


The Gotei 13, in contrast to the normal operations of modern-day militaries, does not operate as a cohesive unit normally. The command of the divisions are generally left to the discretion of its particular Captain, who commonly runs it whatever way he or she sees fit, allowing for the change of a division's traditional duties to an entirely new set and even the creation of a separate institution connected to the division. The Gotei 13's main duty is to defend the Seireitei but they are also allocated districts in Rukongai to defend. In addition to these duties, Shinigami also have to deal with the business of being assigned to the Human World. Officially, the Kidō Corps, Onmitsukidō, and Central 46 are not part of the Gotei 13. However, as Sui-Feng is both the captain of the 2nd Division and the head of the Onmitsukidō, the Onmitsukidō is effectively under Gotei 13 control. In addition, the captain of the Kidō Corps has been known to obey summons and orders from the Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13.

The only general authority to call forth a combined front would be that of an edict from the Central 46 Chambers, or more often the Captain-Commander. It is not uncommon for captains to not see each other as a whole group for long periods of time, except for cases involving a threat to all of the Soul Society, a captain's punishment, or to a lesser degree, a captain's promotion. On a regular basis, the captains are spread out all across the Soul Society doing their divisions' duties, whatever they may be. They are, in fact, so far spread out that getting the Captains together as a group, or even getting their lieutenants together as a group, could normally take a day to accomplish.

Seireitei Military[]

The Gotei 13 is made up of thirteen components: They are split into thirteen divisions (hence the name), with several divisions having certain specializations. It is led by the "Captain-Commander", who has the statuary authority to conduct all the affairs of the Gotei 13; while deferring to the authority of the Central 46 Chambers in matters involving Soul Society. As with any army, the Gotei 13 has ranks. There are 20 ranks for officers but no ranks for non-officers. The lower the number is, the higher the rank. The ranks and their descriptions are below, from highest to lowest in terms of strength. The Court Guards are an organization with a merit-based hierarchy. They have disposed of the system of rank based on seniority. Abilities are the only thing used to determine one's rank.

Each Division is made up of just over 200 Shinigami, with the Gotei 13's standing force being just around 3000 total enlisted troops. The Shinigami are typically recruited through the Shinigami Academy. However, it must be noted that not all graduates make it into the Gotei 13. Graduates from the Academy are required to sit an entrance exam for the Gotei 13 and only those who pass are allowed to join. The entrance exam can be taken multiple times.

The Gotei 13 serves as an military force with its primary responsibilities consisting of:

  • The defense of the Seireitei, the center of Soul Society.
  • The deployment of Division members into enemy territory for combat operations.
  • The deployment of Task Forces as defensive measures in the world of the living.

Divisions are identified by the flower design that acts as their own symbol that represents the division's primary role. When a power limit is placed on a captain or lieutenant, their symbol appears on a certain part of their body until the limit is lifted. Each symbol also has a specific meaning.


Division Symbols

Captain and Lieutenant[]

A Captain (隊長, Taichō; lit. Unit Commander) is the leader of one of the thirteen divisions (with the special case of the Commander-General). A single Gotei 13 "unit" (隊) is estimated at about 200-500 troops.

The Captain-Commander (総隊長, Sōtaichō; Viz "Captain-General"; Captain-Commander, Head-Captain in the English dub) is the supreme leader of the Gotei 13; the implication is that this is an ex officio or a primus inter pares position. The position requires the Captain-Commander to oversee the overall operations of the Gotei 13, Onmitsukidō and Kidō Corps when the well being of Seireitei and Soul Society is at stake. The only power the Captain-Commander is answerable to is the Central 46 Chambers.

The Captains congregate together in the main hall of the First Division Headquarters to discuss important issues involving their specific divisions and matters that affect Soul Society. This council is highly formal with the captain-commander leading its proceedings. All captains are considered equal (with the exception of the captain-commander) and determine the course of their individual division unless dictated otherwise by the captain-commander. Votes are carried out via a unanimous consensus. Captains are generally the most respected shinigami within the Soul Society, with the Kidō Corps, and Onmitsukidō leaders possibly being on equal status. With one exception, all captains are able to utilize the final stage of their zanpakutō, and are more powerful than even their lieutenants. Knowing bankai gives captains an average of five-to-ten times the strength of shinigami who are unable to perform it. They have also extensively-trained, if not mastered, their bankai, allowing them to actually use the enormous power effectively in battle. Most captains are also skilled in the use of Flash Steps, Kidō, and generally have extensive knowledge of shinigami history and battle tactics. All of these factors create a huge power-gap between captains and lower-ranked officers.

Captains determine the course, organization, tactics and policy of their division. The power a captain has over his/her division is absolute and cannot be questioned by subordinates or the captains of the other divisions. A captain can choose to change the division speciality (As Kisuke Urahara did upon gaining command). Due to captains having supreme authority in their respective division the divisions have become separate entities and not a cohesive military. In this way they only have the right to punish the actions of their subordinates and not those of other divisions unless in the instance that the division in question has no current captain or the subordinates actions are against the laws or rules of Soul Society.

Although not commonly stated, the true power of Soul Society lies in the Captains of the Gotei 13, as they are the leaders of its military arm. With them at full strength Soul Society is safe and near unbeatable, if they are broken their strength dwindles making them highly vulnerable.

There are three different ways to become a Gotei 13 captain:

  • Captain Proficiency Test (隊首, taishu): Passing the Captain Proficiency Test involves having reached Bankai as a requirement for passing. The passing of the test must be witnessed by three other Captain, one of which being the Commander-General (see above). Most Shinigami become Captains this way, so this is the standard method.
  • Personal Recommendation: To have personal recommendations from at least six captains and approval from at least three of the remaining seven.
  • Trial by Combat: To defeat a captain one-on-one with at least 200 witnesses from the captain's division. Kenpachi Agatsuma current Captain of the Tenth Division, became a Captain this way, as did every Kenpachi before him. This method is seen as being the exceedingly rarest of the three as well as the least refined. The method is commonly looked down upon by some captains as barbaric compared to the other refined methods. This method also allows one to bypass having the mastery of Bankai or other possible abilities that a captain would otherwise be required to have knowledge of, as it allows no judgement from captains who would require those skills as a prerequisite to join their ranks.

As with all military organizations, there must be someone who serves as the second-in-command in any case of emergency. They hold the title of Lieutenant (副隊長, fukutaichō; Vice-unit Commander, often translated as Vice-Captain) is the 2nd seated officer in a division. Lieutenants function as executive officers for their division, taking care of or supervising day-to-day operations. They (along with their captains) are not assigned to one specific squad. They generally only know the shikai of their Zanpakutō, but are still the second strongest in their division. In the case of a division captain's death, departure, or other circumstances making him unable to perform their duties, the lieutenant acts as the "substitute captain" until another can be assigned. They generally only know their Shikai, but in some cases may know Bankai, but rarely have mastered it.

Division Captain Lieutenant Former Captain(s) Former Lieutenant(s)
First Division Division 1

Yuiko Shinonome

Unknown Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto Chōjirō Sasakibe
Second Division Division 2 Sui-Feng Marechiyo Omaeda Suì-Fēng Marechiyo Ōmaeda
Third Division Division 3 Unknown Unknown Gin Ichimaru Izuru Kira
Fourth Division Division 4 Retsu Unohana Unknown Retsu Unohana Isane Kotetsu
Fifth Division Division 5 Nea Ichihara Ayase Nakano Sōsuke Aizen Momo Hinamori
Sixth Division Division 6 Natsuo Kuchiki Unknown Byakuya Kuchiki Renji Abarai
Seventh Division Division 7 Unknown Unknown Sajin Komamura Tetsuzaemon Iba
Eighth Division Division 8 Shunsui Kyoraku Nanao Ise Shunsui Kyōraku Nanao Ise
Ninth Division Division 9 Unknown Unknown Kaname Tōsen Shūhei Hisagui
Tenth Division Division 10 Tōshirō Hitsugaya Rangiku Matsumoto Tōshirō Hitsugaya Rangiku Matsumoto
Eleventh Division Division 11 Kenpachi Agatsuma Unknown Kenpachi Zaraki Yachiru Kusajishi
Twelfth Division Division 12 Unknown Unknown Mayuri Kurotsuchi Nemu Kurotsuchi
Thirteenth Division Division 13 Unknown Unknown Jūshirō Ukitake Kaien Shiba

A large portion of the Gotei 13 remains unknown, but will be revealed eventually. After 100 years, only 4 Captains have remained, Sui-Feng, Retsu Unohana, Shunsui Kyoraku and Toshiro Hitsugaya.

Seated Officers[]

Seated officers are the remainder of the officers in the Gotei 13 that hold ranks at or below 3rd Seat. Captains and lieutenants have the ranks of 1st and 2nd Seats, respectfully. Next to that, there are 18 more seats (3rd-to-20th). These ranks are somewhat analogous to junior officers or non-commissioned officers in modern military. There seems to be a distinction between senior and junior seated officers, just like in real-life armies. In the Gotei 13, only one person can hold a senior officer rank (such as 3rd or 5th seat), but there are several holders of junior officer ranks (e.g. 20th seat). This may vary from division to division however, as there are two 3rd Seats in the 13th Division. Seated officers often lead subunits within each division (for example, Hanatarō Yamada is leader of 4th Division's 14th Advanced Relief Team). Seated officers sometimes have shikai, but rarely do they have Bankai. However, a Seated Officer with Bankai is not unheard of.

Kidō Corps[]

The Kidō Corps (鬼道衆, Kidōshū) is a separate branch of Soul Society's military that excels in the art of Kidō. The Kidō Corps takes students from the Shinō Academy that excel in Kidō and trains them to further their abilities in said area. Its operations are executed in absolute secrecy. During an incident one hundred years ago Jūshirō Ukitake noted how rare it was to see anyone from the Kidō Corps, especially the captain. In keeping with their secretive nature, the Kidō Corp standard uniform includes face-coverings. The Kidō Corps is responsible for opening the Senkaimon between the human world and Soul Society. They are also responsible for releasing the Sōkyoku seal during executions. It is unknown how many members are in the Kidō Corps, and exactly how strong their military force is. The full rank structure of the Kidō Corps is unknown. But it is known that the chief of the Kidō Corps is referred to as the Kidō Corps Commander (鬼道衆 総帥, Kidōshū Sōshi, also known as the Grand Kidō Chief) and his second is known as the Vice Kidō Chief (副鬼道長, Fuku Kidōchō). The current title holder of both these ranks are unknown.


Most Gotei 13 personnel wear the standard Shinigami uniform, called Shihakushō (死覇装, Garment of Dead Souls). This consists of a white shitagi, a black kosode, a black hakama, a white hakama-himo, white tabi, and waraji. The black hakama also has its owner's division insignia emblazoned on the inside, though it does not appear to have any significant reasoning other than minor security authorization. Lieutenants sometimes also wear an armband which carries their division symbol and its number, usually on their left arm. They are required to do this when they are summoned to a meeting, but it seems that it is rarely compulsory.

Captains wear a white haori over the usual black Shinigami clothes, with the number of their division on the back, inside the Gotei 13 symbol (a rhombus). Some captains have long sleeves, while the others do not. It also seems that the color of the underside is division--or at least captain-specific--as every captain has a different color of it.