"Fear is necessary for evolution. The fear that one could be destroyed at any moment. Thank you, Gin. Thanks to your efforts, I have finally risen to an existence that surpasses both Shinigami and Hollow."
This article, Gotei 13 (Kenji Hiroshi), is currently under active construction by the author(s) of whom this article's property falls under.
WARNING This article, Gotei 13 (Kenji Hiroshi), will be using several new ideas not seen in the established canon of Bleach in order to differentiate it from other Gotei 13 related articles on the site. Any comments regarding the changes would be very welcome!
The Gotei 13 (護廷十三隊, goteijūsantai; 13 Division Imperial Guards), otherwise known as the 13 Court Guard Squads, is the organization which most Shinigami join, and one of the three main branches of military in the Soul Society.
The Gotei 13 is made up of thirteen components: They are split into thirteen divisions, with several divisions having certain specializations. Though a "fourteenth division" exists it is not considered to be part of the main 13. 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 fourteenth division, however, is much larger than the standard division. This is due to its primary mission which calls for the complete protection of the Soul Society, the Seireitei, and finally the Rukongai. As such the fourteenth has a standing force comprising roughly half of the Gotei 13's entire military strength, which numbers close to 1300 members.
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.
The Gotei 13 is made up of thirteen component units, which themselves are split into thirteen divisions, with several divisions having certain specialized branches. These include the Onmitsukidō and the Advanced Spear Unit. Overall the Gotei 13 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 in matters involving Soul Society.
The 1st Division is openly regarded as the finest division within the entire Gotei 13, with most of its members being considered model Shinigami. It is also the division which the Captain-Commander usually commands personally. They are expected to be deal with emergencies quickly, analyze a situation quickly, and act before the appropriate order has even been issued.
Over the years the 2nd Division has become known as the official Special Operations division, which is mainly due to the Onmitsukidō being heavily integrated into its structure. As such they are the division which deals with internal matters as well as assassination and espionage.
The 4th Division is arguably the most important division next to the 1st Division. It has been known throughout history to be the most modern medical wing of Soul Society's military, which Garian Shinjo founded. They are also required to perform almost all the manual labor within the Seireitei, such as trash collection and repairing buildings after incidents.
Although no special duties have been noted for the 5th Division they are arguably the most well-balanced unit comprising the Gotei 13. During Sōsuke Aizen's tenure the members where all trained by him; a captain who excelled at everything, including battle readiness. This was carried forward into recent years thus making the 5th Division a well-balanced fighting force well-suited for training new recruits from the Shinō Academy.
The 6th Division is noted for its strict adherence to rules amongst its members, thus making it a model division held in the same league as the 1st Division. Suzume Naomasa has put together the Law Enforcement Unit in order to have an select group of individuals police the other members of the Gotei 13 by maintaining rules and suppressing any uprisings and unrest among shinigami. They also deal with any formal complaints and problems that may arise from disputes.
Under Captain Erika, the 8th Division has become the rapid-response team of the Gotei 13. This is shown most strongly in the organization Erika founded -- the Hayaiōtōtai, which is allowed to use lethal force against anyone seeking to attack the Soul Society.
Aside from its duty to protect the entire Seireitei, the 9th Division is also in charge of overseeing arts and culture. As such they are known to be in charge of the Seireitei news magazine, as well as Seireitei Communication. In its first duty they work alongside members of the 14th Division.
The 11th Division is the strongest division amongst the entire Gotei 13 and recognized as the primary fighting force within the entire Soul Society with remarkable skill in close-quarters combat, including Zanjutsu and Hakuda techniques. Members love fighting and often forgo the use of Kidō completely, though not all do so.
The 12th Division is responsible for the development of new technology and spiritual tools and has been the home of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute since the tenure of Kisuke Urahara. As such technological and scientific research has become the full measure of what the division involves itself in primarily. Members are tasked with research and collection of data and samples.
The Fourteenth Division, although a recognized division, is not counted amongst the primary thirteen units comprising the Gotei 13. It is, however, the largest of any single division. A single Captain holds authority while four Lieutenants aid him or her. The primary mission of the fourteenth is the complete protection of Soul Society, which is most easily performed by protecting the residents of the vast Rukongai surrounding the Seireitei.
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 Gotei 13 is 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, though other factors have been known to have had an effect; such as level of nobility and even outright blackmail or bribery.
The Captain-Commander (総隊長, Sōtaichō), otherwise known as the Head-Captain, is the supreme leader of the Gotei 13. 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 current holder of this title is Captain Madoka Mizuki of the 1st Division.
The page above is open only to Razo and APS. Below you'll find out why, just so people don't feel like they're being left out due to me being malicious or anything.
Razo: Razo and I have been writing stories since I finished my very first story arc, so basically as long as I've been editing on the wiki scene. As such a new Gotei (which our characters had joined) would really have screwed up our collective stories otherwise. So it's only natural that Razo got in on it. On another note, we've been working together so long it just wouldn't feel right :p
APS: The same things true for APS, only you can substitute me with Razo when it came to stories. He and Razo have been doing RP's and collective story arcs for quite a while now, and I've made references to some of APS' work in my own stories through the references to Razo's work, so again, it's a no-brainer to involve him.
Behind the Scenes
Most of the information within the Organization section was condensed by Sei and Ten, so they get full credit. Sei gave me his okay to go ahead and use it.
This particular Gotei 13 was designed to be a break-away from the norm. A lot of new ideas will be presented for uniqueness.
The notion of a "14th Division" has been a much talked about topic amongst fans, though most ideas the author seen regarding it where Captained by Ichigo Kurosaki with Rukia Kuchiki as his Lieutenant. The Gotei 13 normally became the Gotei 14 as a result, though the author felt this wasn't consistent with the portrayal of Soul Society. So he decided to create the 14th Division but decided against making it a recognized division.
Thanks goes to the Bleach Wiki and North for bringing the tables located in the Seated Officers section to the wiki.