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Hein Ueda
Hein color 2
Kanji 上田 伾寅
Romaji Ueda Hein
Meaning "Mighty sign of the tiger"
General Information
Race Soul (Shinigami)
Birthdate March 6
Age 27 (physical)
~300-450 (actual)
Gender Male
Height 179 cm (5'10.5")
Weight 75 kg (165 lbs)
Hair Color Pale Gray
Eye Color Red (formerly)
Blood Type B-
Professional Information
Affiliation Gotei 13
Previous Affiliation Takeha Gang
Occupation Shinigami
Previous Occupation Kumichō (Gang leader)
Team 7 7th Division
Partner Yoko Hisakawa (Lieutenant)
Previous Partner Rana (Confident, personal healer)
Position Captain
Base of Operations Seventh Division Headquarters, Seireitei
Personal Information
Education Unknown (literate)
Marital Status Single
Family None
Status Active
Zanpakutō
Shikai Moehai
Bankai Maō-en
"One... Someone please
Two... put out my flame
Three... make me fly or
Four... let it burn
"
Shura, DOES

Hein Ueda (上田 伾寅, Ueda Hein) is a Shinigami who serves as the current Captain of the 7th Division. His lieutenant is Yoko Hisakawa. Well-known for his peculiar accent and his ability to fight while blind, Hein is somewhat infamous for his signature brutality, lack of respect, and love of violence. Before becoming a member of the Gotei 13, Hein was feared throughout the Southern Rukongai as the ruthless gang leader of the Takeha-kai. After being betrayed by Rana during the Kidō Corps Revolt, Hein became an apparent ally of Shigenaga Arma, although the exact nature of this relationship is unknown. As such, his reputation proceeds him, and he is generally not trusted by his comrades despite the fact that he has only just recently joined the Gotei 13's ranks.

Appearance

Hein is a tall, well-built man with sharp features and short pale-gray hair. His skin is notably smooth, being an even tan in tone, and he seems to lack any form of facial hair without much body hair to speak of. This is most likely a result of it having been burned off in the release of his Reiatsu, although it is possible that he keeps himself purposefully hairless to avoid any painful accidents. As such it is puzzling why he is not completely bald, and the other men in his division have speculated that he uses a rare type of flame-resistent hair gel or hair wax to keep it from becoming incinerated, but this has not been verified. Hein has often been described as others as “lanky” or lean, although this description can be misleading. While his figure is trim and wiry, his shoulders are wide and muscular, and his chest tapers to a narrow waist. Considering his emphasis in Hakuda, Hein has developed his musculature evenly across his entire body, although he has especially focused on developing the strength of his core and limbs while maintaining flexibility and balance in his form. His features are fairly angular, with a sharp jaw, long refined nose, and high cheekbones. In the past his most notable feature was his deep crimson eyes, which were rectangular in shape, narrowed at the ends, and served to draw attention in an almost mesmerizing way. They seemed to speak of power and an unshakable calm that oftentimes conflicted with Hein’s aggressive and erratic behavior, adding further weight to his name as the “Tiger of Takeha.” After losing his eyesight, the pupils disappeared, and as the skin around his eyelids is heavily scarred he usually keeps them closed at all times. He also covers his eyes with a signature red blindfold as they are still somewhat sensitive to light.

Hein young a

Young Hein as he appeared before losing his sight.

During his time in the Rukongai, Hein wore whatever basic garb that came to him, usually common yukata and the like, but after he began practicing Hakuda his outfit became more normalized. He would wear a short pair of hakama that came to just below his knees and a sleeveless kosode to allow for ease of movement. After becoming a gang leader he accentuated this with a haori emblazoned with the Takeha-kai’s symbol, which he wore casually draped over his shoulders in order to quickly discard if he encountered a martial situation. He also owned a more formal embroidered yukata of black silk, which he reserved for special occasions.

As a captain, Hein wears the standard Shinigami Shihakushō, but has altered it by removing the right sleeve in order to proudly display the symbol of his gang. The Takeha-kai mon is completely red and circular, and located just below his deltoid. It should be noted that this is his only tattoo, which is somewhat unusual when compared to the other members of the gang. He wears his captain’s haori over his left shoulder, folding the right side back and allowing it to drape over his hip, securing it with an obi in his division’s color. This suggests that he has slowly started to accept his position as leader of the division, and he considers the men to be part of his new “gang.” Instead of the traditional straw waraji sandals he sports a pair of metal-lined wooden geta, which he annoys most of his division with by clacking noisily wherever he walks. He has also been known to use these sandals as weapons, often launching them as projectiles at whichever hapless division member has provoked his ire.

Personality

The lust for power is addictive and corruptive, and Hein seems completely intoxicated. Coarse, unrefined and violent, he cares for nothing more than to cut down those who challenge his strength; he delights in the pain of their defeat. Malicious and stubborn, he also possesses a keen, cunning nature and a rather animalistic intelligence. When these traits are combined he becomes a formidable force to be reckoned with. Erratic and casual to a fault, Hein displays a certain disrespect towards anyone in the Gotei 13, whether that be his own subordinates, “close” associates, or even Head Captain Shunsui Kyōraku himself. While it depends on the person, most find him an abrasive and unscrupulous individual, and he has been described as “uncouth,” with a “deplorable lack of manners.” [1] It is possible that many view him this way due to his rather notorious reputation, although it could be that they are offended by his insulting and derisive manner of speech. Whatever the case may be, it should be noted that Hein has not established any particularly strong relationships within the Gotei 13, suggesting the distrust and even hate is mutual.

Overall, Hein is hot-blooded and rough in nature. Loud, brash, and intimidating, his characteristic informality and signature smirk serve to taunt his opponents, and he is given to mocking them directly. Even though he is egocentric and narcissistic, he will brush aside all but the most serious of insults in order to further provoke an opponent. When fighting he is completely absorbed in the battle and characterized by a certain brutality and bloodlust that, if allowed to escalate, can slowly drive him to an incensed and unstable state. As Hein is not a man to be trusted, he is very untrusting of others. He sees the Gotei 13 in its entirety as a group of pretentious, over-privileged snobs and generally detests them, with few exceptions. He respects one thing, and that is strength, but what he determines by “strength” is largely subjective. Additionally, he tends to keep his distance from others, both peers and subordinates. As a result his opinion of others also tends to be largely superficial, although he is actually extremely knowledgeable in regards to their level of skill and power as he is not unintelligent and knows he must watch his fellow captains closely, as he still perceives them as his enemy. Hein also feels somewhat trapped by his position as a captain and enslaved by the quotidian. He despises the repetitive tasks inevitably involved in fulfilling his assignments, and so shirks his duties as much as possible. He hates methodical, step-by-step methods to solving problems, and will often lash out without warning when he has been pushed beyond his limits. He can be volatile and dangerous, even towards his own division members.

In reality, it is possible that many would find him more agreeable if he stopped fighting at the slightest provocation, adhered to the protocols of the Seireitei, and refrained from hurling incessant insults at others. While he is capable of contriving complex plans of action and is shrewd and manipulating, Hein is also an impulsive individual who throws himself into battle, heedless of the danger. He has an incredibly strong will, and detests all authority except his own. Perhaps reflective of the nature of his soul, he is hot-blooded and forceful, commanding an intimidating presence over those ranked beneath him. Hein is extroverted and assertive, which results in an easy self-confidence and his desire to dominate. He is also, generally speaking, a man of his word. Meaning that he backs up what he says with his actions. While having been described as a leader, Hein demonstrates a profound lack of empathy and a fundamental disregard for human life. Motivated by an undisclosed attachment that demands he uphold some semblance of honor while serving in the Gotei 13, Hein has adopted a pragmatic code that allows him to function in a non-criminal society. Mainly, he will not attack unless encouraged or allowed to by someone else, despite all appearances to the contrary. This is not to say that he does not seek out conflict, however, and is often engaged in minor skirmishes within his own division. On the same note, he tends to solve his problems as he always has: ruthlessly manipulating and cutting down those who stand in his way in order to reach his goals. While his morality may seem to be nonexistent, he does appear to live by a certain code of honor that will not allow him to cross certain lines. He is determined, acts on his ambition, and refuses to back down from a challenge without a fight. These, among other traits, were what allowed him to be so successful as a gang leader while in the Rukongai.

Hein hates those who preside over him and only follows his own authority. He is driven to gain power, seemingly for power’s sake alone, and because he values power he is often considered to be a leader. He is almost completely self-sufficient, and despises asking others for help as he considers this to be a weakness. He feels to be more superior than those around him, and although it may or may not be intentional, he is often the center of attention. He is willing to exploit others in order to meet his own needs and goals, and believes he is entitled to certain factors such as compliance with his expectations and unlimited freedom to do as he pleases. He expects others to please him, willingly or not. He is somewhat deluded with his own superiority, and as such is very competitive and strongly compelled. He is driven, relentless, tireless, and ruthless. Even when he does not make it to the top, he will strive and fight in order to vanquish the opposition, believing that the world is set against him and that the only thing he can do about it is to win. When such situations arise, Hein becomes notably prone to anger and rage. The reason being that these feelings are expressions of externalized inner anxiety and shame that lurk just beneath the surface. When threatened with some hurt or humiliation from his past, his rage allows him to transfer his painful feelings onto another. Whatever the case may be, he is deeply compelled to conceal the deficits and weaknesses he sees in himself, habitually redirecting any possible confrontation with the darkness within him to an external circumstance. And all this because, in reality, Hein is a broken man and emotionally bankrupt. Irreparably scarred, his emotional faculties are woefully underdeveloped. Rather than come to terms with a difficult situation, he simply reacts and destroys, leaving no openings to his heart. This is not to say, however, that he lacks self-insight, as he has seen himself for what he truly is, which terrorizes him. So he has built walls around him, and his rigid, unyielding defense has come to define him. Because of this, the most reliable way for him to feel liberated from himself is to injure others around him, focusing on their flaws and weaknesses instead of choosing to recognize his own. He has come to see others as existing primarily to serve his own needs and desires, and generally does not think of others other than how he might use them. Since he does not value others, his social boundaries are very thin, prompting him to say bluntly whatever he may be thinking at the time. His honesty is brutal and he is very rarely embarrassed by anything he is accused of, often times displaying gross insensitivity to how others might react to his words. He is very likely to blurt out things or ask questions that others can’t help but view as tasteless, demeaning, tactless, insulting, or otherwise offensive. However, while he may seem indifferent towards those beneath them, he provides them with an accurate view of their own goals and situations, does not punish questions, and can identify potential in an individual even when others may be blind to this, looking beyond their current abilities to see what they may eventually become. So while he only values strength, he is not adverse to having weak individuals flock about him, or even spending personal time with his subordinates, as long as they demonstrate a potential for strength. It is unknown, however, how exactly he determines this.

Relationships

History

This section is currently under construction.

Hein child

Hein possessed an insatiable bloodlust even as a child.


Fire demon LINE

The Fire Demon that took root in Hein's soul.

Plot

To be revealed.

Equipment

Powers and Abilities

Natural Abilities

Great Spiritual Power: Hein possesses a large amount of Reiryoku, which is finally controlled. Although his level of Spiritual Power may appear unimpressive at first, this is because he has mastered the art of suppressing it without needing to be consciously aware of doing so. He has stated that his own Reiatsu can interfere with perceiving the Reiatsu of others, and this is why he has gone to such great lengths to gain skilled control of it. In reality, his precise control over his Reiryoku is what allows him to have such a high degree of spiritual awareness, and as a result if he were to release a greater amount of Reiatsu this would only serve to increase his ability to sense an opponent’s movements, and even determine the shape of their body from within the bounds of his Spiritual Pressure. Others have described his Reiatsu, when suppressed, as generally giving them an “uneasy” feeling, as though what little heat they can detect signifies a destructive power that could be released at any moment. He often uses this property to threaten or intimidate adversaries. His Reiatsu takes on entirely different properties when he releases his Zanpakutō. As a general rule, however, Hein keeps his Reiatsu suppressed in its yellow, “uneasy” state, even while fighting. Normally, Hein’s Reiatsu is yellow in color, but when he releases a strong enough surge of energy it seems to “ignite” and become visible flames that envelope his entire being in a fiery aura. This full-scale release of Reiatsu is rarely, if ever used as it compensates for his inability to use Shikai. The unique properties of his Reiatsu allow him to be resistant to most other heat-based spirit energy, as he simply cancels out the energy with his own. When fully released, his Reiatsu is even capable of causing burns to those who may be haplessly standing too close to him, and can ignite any surrounding flammable material.

Hein reiatsu

A display of Hein's distinctive Reiatsu.

  • Fire Manipulation: Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various other reaction products, with flame being the visible portion of the fire. Depending on the substance along with any impurities in the material, the color and intensity of the fire will differ. Hein’s flames are the product of his Reiatsu, and considering the strength and wholeness of his Reiatsu, the flames he manifests are incredibly hot and bright, capable of singeing those who are haplessly standing too close.
  • Pressure Control: Although he rarely uses this ability, Hein is also capable of utilizing his Reiatsu to affect the atmosphere. If Hein can confine the heat from his Reiatsu, either by being in an enclosed location or by trying to suppress his spiritual pressure when it is fully released, he can heat the air around him to cause a significant rise in atmospheric pressure. This holds explosive implications.

Superior Spiritual Awareness: In order to compensate for his lack of sight, Hein has developed an amazingly acute sense of spiritual awareness. Even from great distances he is capable of perceiving different Reiatsu signatures, the entity’s level of power, and even the mood or status of the individual in question. He has described it as “easy as reaching out his hand and touching a spirit ribbon.” This also allows him to be an expert tracker, and he can detect opponents even through most concealing techniques. He can perceive silhouettes, shapes, and spirit energy; and is capable of detecting objects around him in a 360º radius. He is also unaffected by most illusionary techniques that depend on vision. Thus Hein’s awareness is able to go beyond simply placing him on equal level with seeing opponents, as it lends him distinct advantages as well. (See: “Blind Fighting.”)

Enhanced Strength and Agility: As Hein’s primary focus is in hand-to-hand combat, and considering his heavy reliance on Hakuda, it is no wonder that he has pushed his Shinigami’s body to its peak condition. He uses his tall, wiry build to his advantage, and while not over-developed his solid, defined musculature affords him a naturally high degree of strength and stamina. Coupled with the durability inherent to a being with his level of Reiatsu, he is undoubtedly a formidable opponent in unarmed combat. His strength allows him to move and utilize surprisingly heavy objects with some dexterity, capable of lifting, throwing, and catching items of great weight easily, although not entirely effortlessly. Most importantly is the fact that his enhanced strength means he is capable of both withstanding and inflicting great damage in a fight, which considerably improves his capabilities as a Hakuda master. His resilience and stamina allow him to fight for long lengths of time without using his Reiatsu, which is an important factor considering his style of fighting. Not only is Hein physically strong, but he is also extremely agile, often employing difficult acrobatic maneuvers during a fight in order to dodge or flank an opponent. While this may be seen as somewhat ostentatious or superfluous, his agility has proven highly advantageous in battle as he can fluidly transition from one motion to another, evade attacks effectively, and perform other gymnastic, athletic or martial implements with distinct ease. He is able to bend and twist his body beyond what would be normally expected without stress or damage, and can stay in most any position he chooses without effort or strain for extended periods of time. He seems to take pride in his level of flexibility, as it has even become reflected in his approach to fighting with his rapid responses and adaptation to presented challenges. He also has a highly developed sense of balance, although it seems as though he is always lilting precariously or overcompensating in his movements. In reality it is extremely difficult to knock him off his feet unless the fall is intentional to allow for a better position.

Hein swordstyle

Hein combines his swordsmanship with Hakuda to throw the enemy off-guard.

Proficient Swordsman: Although Hein is a specialist in Hakuda and rarely uses kenjutsu, he does possess a high level of hidden skill in swordsmanship. He uses his sword in tandem with his Hakuda to create a formidable style of fighting. Like his Hakuda, Hein’s kenjutsu is defined by his fluid, acrobatic movements and aggressive attacks, allowing him to achieve a balance of power, speed, and stamina. His great understanding of close-quarter combat extends to kenjutsu and is strengthened by his sharp reflexes and base instincts. Hein has continued to train tirelessly to use his body and weapon in flowing combination, and as such he employs a fast-paced style of combat that places emphasis on linked movement and rapid assaults. Although known for a lack of adequate defensive moves, (besides blocking and dodging) he has been able to utilize creative techniques to block or neutralize oncoming attacks, but Hein normally attacks with such ferocity that it leaves his opponent little room to launch a successful attack.He seems to use a random pattern utilizing kicks, punches and sword strikes which are timed to exploit his opponent’s openings. By constantly switching the blade between his hand and his mouth (by holding the blade in his teeth) he can unleash brutal, unpredictable attacks to utterly destroy his opponent’s defenses.

Special Abilities

"I ain’t dumb. I know there’s terrible strong enemies out there that’ll come my way. And not all of ‘em will be hurt by fire. Don’t matter, seein’ as how I won’t use it as much in those cases. Ya see, it’s not about playin’ fancy, it’s all up here, in yer mind. Ya find opportunities in the real basic forms, the ones everyone depends on. Then ya get ‘em off balance, let ‘em think they’ve got a chance… but I’ll rip that chance out of their hands, make ‘em see they’ve got nothing. That is strength. That is real power, ain’t it so? Rough and terrifyin’. Crushed by their own despair."
—Hein, speaking of his fighting style

Hakuda Master: Hein’s primary weapon of attack is his own body, and he relies on Hakuda heavily, using it more than any of his other skills. He can easily take on average armed opponents and those many times his size, and is capable in every way of completely protecting himself with only his bare hands. Easily the most outstanding and incredible aspect of all of Hein’s abilities is his ridiculous capabilities for unarmed combat. He employs a hybrid style that mixes swift kicks with graceful hand-to-hand combat, which he then furthers by interlacing it with his fire techniques, making him an exceptional melee fighter. Although he may at first appear to be an erratic and chaotic combatant, He fights with flawless precision, making the most out of an attack with the least amount of effort. Hein’s style of fighting appears to be a conglomeration of various styles of Taijutsu; most prominently being the fluid sense of movement normally associated with Northern-Style Kung Fu, the powerful, rapid-fire kicks of Taekwondo, and the distinctive hook-like blows of Muay Boran. He prefers to use his feet more than his hands to attack, both because he personally prefers it and also because leg strength is greater than arm strength, and his kicks deliver significantly more damage on contact than his hand strikes. In combat, Hein seems to always be readjusting his stance, landing for a brief instant before jumping once or twice to reground himself, then taking off an instant latern. He springs from the balls of his feet, at times hardly making contact with the ground at all. This results in a very unpredictable and constantly shifting fight pattern, and the moment he gets close he does not stop with the impact but continues moving through the strike. He focuses on battering an opponent, using relentless legwork to break through an opponent’s defenses and crush them with powerful blows. He also uses his resilient Shinigami’s form to his advantage, utilizing his incredible speed and strength while maintaining balance to gain the upper hand. This requires a combination of coordination, reflexes, and endurance to be employed as efficiently as possible. Hein’s style is designed to cover every aspect of a combat situation and exploit his opponent’s weaknesses by attacking weak points, as the goal is to utterly destroy his adversary’s body. In every situation, Hein demonstrates an astonishing level of agility, easily incorporating difficult acrobatic maneuvers such as spins and flips into his fighting rhythm. When combined with his his impressive level of speed he can successfully outmaneuver his opponents and position himself in an advantageous situation, all while smiling carelessly. His incredible physical feats serve to misguide his foes and place them in awkward positions, unable to counter his swift attacks while he himself is unwavering in his own position, even when bombarded at impossible angles. His speed and coordination allow him to cast multiple assaults simultaneously, in such rapid combinations that even the most well-trained of enemies find themselves overwhelmed, especially when under a storm of his blindingly fast, snapping kicks. Hein combines his aggressive, unrelenting strikes with a solid defense that consists of alternating blocks and dodges. Blocks are his preferred method of defense as it allows him the option of an immediate counter-attack while dodges are more difficult as they demand perfect execution: he avoids an attack with the slightest of movements in order to conserve energy and stay as close to his opponent as possible for a counter. Hein's deadly speed, immense strength and keen fighting instinct were honed by his years of struggle in the Rukongai, where his level of skill grew until he was eventually able to defeat any enemy that dared to cross his path. Hein’s style has been criticized for its serious gaps in technique, but these are filled with improvisation and resources that are provided by the situation. Thus, while his style may at first appear to be defined by hard rigidty and aggression it is actually extremely flexible, as its simplicity allows him to concentrate in the spur of the moment without worrying about complex rituals and stances.

  • Shunkō: (See also "Hanki"). Shunkō is one of the highest forms of Hakuda technique as it combines the physical skill of Hakuda with the spell-based forms of Kidō. When one witnesses a display of Shunkō, they are immediately reminded of elements such as 'wind' or 'lightning'. But Hein’s Shunkō is unique, and differs significantly from other masters of Hakuda. As Hein drives Kidō into his arms and legs it takes on the propensity of fire, seeming to ignite bright, hot flames across his shoulders. He can control this flame-based Kidō to fire at opponents, using nothing but his hands and feet to deliver incredibly fast, powerful blows. Although it seems as though he has mastered the use of Shunkō he has admitted that it remains difficult to control, a sentiment shared by Yoruichi Shihōin, the foremost practitioner of the art. Reason being is that Shunkō demands significant concentration to maintain the spell, as it is "charged" into one’s body. It requires more skill to suppress and harness Shunkō than it does to release the effect at full strength, and if one loses focus it can deliver significant backlash. By directing Shunkō around a particular area of his body, Hein can prevent attacks from damaging or piercing that area, although he mainly uses Shunkō for added strength and speed in his attacks. It should be noted that he would have never learned the rare technique if it had not been for his special interest in Kidō.
  • Ryū-hochō: (竜歩調, “Pacing Dragon”). Fire is the element of power, consisting of overpowering force tempered by the unflinching will to accomplish tasks and desires. As Hein’s Reiatsu takes on the property of actual flames, he is able to manipulate and generate fire at will, which he has melded to work in fluid conjunction with his Hakuda, calling the technique his “Ryū-hochō” style. While retaining the same style of Hakuda Hein normally employs, Ryū-hochō is notably more intense and aggressive. He has developed this style in such a manner that his fire becomes an extension of his body, rather than a mere tool used for augmentation of his physical abilities. Even though his Hakuda in general can be defined by his desire to dominate, Hein sees fire as representative of pure, raw energy. As the flames are controlled by tapping into his own Reiryoku to create them, he must be cautious of over-expending in a fight. Thus, when using fire in conjunction with Hakuda, he is more aggressive but also much more calm and relaxed as he is forced to conserve his own energy. As a result Hein has developed a unique approach to fire manipulation where he condenses and imbues his arms and shins with the flames released by his Reiatsu. Hein then uses concentrated barrages of swift, hammering kicks and punches to overwhelm opponents before striking a fatal blow. He can also further suppress these flames to increase the force of his blows, until no visible flames remain, but if he does not release the fire before a certain length of time the fire will explode violently and severely damage his own body. The fire concentrated in his legs also affords him greater speed, and he is able to retain excellent mobility when using Ryū-hochō.
  • Haiken: (佩剣, “wearing a sword”) Haiken is a technique that Hein invented in order to block sword strikes with his bare hands. His inspiration for the technique came from the legends told of Kenpachi Zaraki in the Rukongai, who was rumored to be “uncuttable.” While some martial artists spend years of training to harden the entirety of their body, Hein finds such a practice unnecessary and excessive. Instead, he found that by using such “iron skin” methods of Reiatsu concentration while focusing on only a few parts of his body he could greatly increase the strength of the technique. He limits the use of Haiken to his forearms and shins, allowing him to block the attacks of his enemies without being cut. This also allows him to withstand the heat of his own Reiatsu, specifically when using Ryū-hochō to protect his body from the flames imbued into his limbs. Haiken is determined by the strength of Hein’s will, and if he is caught off-guard he will be cut. Nevertheless it allows him to fight without relying on his sword to block an opponent’s attacks.

Blind Fighting: Hein can psychically detect the movements of his adversaries by reading both his opponent’s Reiatsu and the Reishi they move through. This allows him to sense and react to any form of danger the instant before it strikes. His discernment works by sensing movement, but he can also predict the actions his adversary will take as he can sense the intent behind their movement. Through training and experience this perception has become internally “linked” with his reflexes, which enables him to evade almost any form of danger, no matter how fast, subtle, or sudden it may be. He can also use his environment to his advantage, as he has the ability to perceive his (and other’s) position in midair, and can detect nearby objects and structures, judge their position, and utilize it to his advantage. Additionally, this allows him to see through certain illusions, as well as negate the effects of certain powers requiring eye contact. He is also not limited to the same field of vision as a normal individual would be, as his perception extends to include a 360º range, but is limited to a radius of about 200 meters. He is thus highly skilled in locating objects around him as well as perceiving subtle shifts in the environment, and is unhampered by smoke or fog. Hein was able to gain these abilities by moving beyond the normal physical limits associated with perception. Vision and hearing function in almost the same way, while sight relies on light reflected from an object Hein has learned to perceive the vibrations that come from or reflect off objects in much the same way. He was able to do this by training the area of the brain that processes spatial relations (the “sight” area) to work with his other senses, thus deriving a fairly accurate picture of his surroundings; accurate enough to perceive an objects location, dimension, and density. In perceiving space he can determine distance, direction, height and breadth. In all aspects it is a phenomenal skill as, in short, it enables him to sense absolutely everything around him at will.

  • Gyogan (魚眼, “fish eye,” also known as proprioperception): Similar to a fish in water, he can sense the disruptions or “waves” in the atmosphere or ground as an opponent moves. He can detect the vibrations that run through a particular substance and determine his surroundings as precisely (if not more so) as if he had normal sight, enabling him to sense an opponent hidden behind walls, dust clouds, or other obstructions. As this was the first technique he learned after losing his sight (as it is the most basic) he has gained the greatest control and mastery over it. In the past, he has even demonstrated its use in detecting cavities or objects hidden deep underground. Its one limitation is that he must be in direct contact with the same substance that the vibrations are occurring in. Thus, if an opponent is in the air, he must be in contact with the air to detect their movement. If the substance is in constant motion (sand, water, etc.) it can also cause disruptions in his perception as his sense becomes “fuzzy.” The other drawback is that this technique has a considerably smaller range than normal, uninterrupted vision. However, as Hein’s skill with this technique evolved he learned to overcome its limitations, as he is able to use his entire dermis as a sensor to detect minute vibrations caused by the smallest disturbances. This ability has even been absorbed to a subconscious level, as it is active even when Hein is asleep or unconscious, activating his reflexes almost immediately if someone attempts to attack him.
  • Hankyōteii (反響定位, “echolocation”): This technique works as the opposite of Gyogan. The inherent weakness of Gyogan is that if a being is able to become completely motionless (even stopping the vibration of their own Reiatsu) they become “invisible” to Hein and are completely imperceptible to him. To compensate, Hein has developed a way to send out his own vibration in a wave (similar to Radar or an Arrancar’s Pesquisa).
  • Kyōi-kan (脅威感, “danger perception”): This a heightened state of mental awareness and enhanced perception within the mind that grants Hein the ability to sense when a threat is near, alerting him to all dangers, even non-deadly, non-harmful, or subtle effects. However, he can still differentiate between normal dangers and those with malicious intent. At its maximum potential, he can achieve something similar to a state of telepathy or clairvoyance, as he is able to sense the intent and direction of an attack before or during its formation. He may also be able to trace mental imprints of murderous or hostile intent, allowing him to detect traps set in advance. This ability requires a massive amount of skill and training, but it can also be short-cut by unleashing his Reiatsu at a powerful level to act as a sort of blanket, allowing him to sense all those who are within it; the stronger and closer the enemy, the more powerful the sensation.
  • Shintō Jun (浸透純, “penetration net”): This is similar to his basic proprioreception in that he can detect movement in the environment around him, but works on a more intrinsic level. It is a very acute ability that allows him to connect himself to ambient Reishi in order to sense the “flow” of energy around him. Changes in the flow are relayed directly to his brain as information, and the more powerful or concentrated a being’s Reiryoku or Reiatsu is the easier it is for him to follow them. Particularly, changes in the flow of Reishi indicate the location of an adversary and accurately allow him to determine their strength and skill level. It also allows him to find individuals, if he has a trace of their Reiryoku to follow, up to indeterminate distances, but this is not useful for combat. The main reason being is that the main disadvantage of sensing the energy through ambient Reishi is that it only allows him to detect those that disrupt the flow, which he has described as “catching a fish with your bare hands.” If the target works with the flow he is no longer able to “spy” on them.
  • Shingan (心眼, “heart’s eye”): This is arguably Hein’s strongest skill, although he is unaware of how to use it at will and it has only occurred twice before in the past. It is an extremely rare state of being in which he is able to sense the underlying structure of reality. On all levels, what can be “sensed” is not what is the supreme reality. Everything resonates on the subatomic, or subspiritual level with a unique "signature," that is, a particular sort of vibration on a quantum level. This signature is a constant and cannot be changed by any known process, as it is the fabric of existence itself: the movements of each and every one of its particles in every moment of its time. Matter (Reishi, kishi, etc.) is composed of energy that vibrates in constant rhythm. It forms a matrix of interlacing patterns, and becomes substance. But within all substances that this energy is locked into, there is a hidden flaw. This flaw cannot be found with the eye or the mind, it must be discovered by the heart. “The eyes deceive and the words of men are lies, but the heart shall never lie,” and it is by discovering the “heart” of a substance that one is able to see the true nature behind it. The Shingan does not work through any physical or spiritual sense: It feels through the heart, as it is the heart that allows it to see beyond the mere limits of the physical realm. Vision and all other senses are, in reality, only the reception of information to the brain, or the perception of reality based on electrochemical interactions. It is like seeing the world through a mirror. To use Shingan, one must look beyond the form of this impression to see the underlying reality: the patterns of energy, set in place by a careful balance of two opposing forces, positive and negative energy. Shingan is a state of being where one is capable of looking deep into themselves (or others) and to finally see the complex network of energy matrices that form matter itself. It is the complete awareness of one’s environment, reading the structure of energy within reishi or kishi to feel the ions or particles of energy that are all around them and in them. Matter itself seems to reach out to them, filling them with energy. In short, it is perfect clarity of perception, to see into the very heart of another, revealing all intentions, thoughts, emotions, desires: everything stripped to its bare essence in Shingan.

Hohō Master: Hohō is the art of movement, specifically high-speed movement, and Hein has demonstrated his mastery in employing the art in combat. Hein is able to project his Reiryoku into the act of moving itself, allowing him to quickly close the gap between him or an opponent and even disappear from sight. In application, he fluidly combines Hohō with his Hakuda in order to strike with incredible rapidity, leaving it difficult for opponents to find an opening to counterattack. While he at first may seem off-balance, concerned with intimidation and hindered by his casual, swaggering posture, Hein is deceptively fast, capable of covering great distances in an instant. This is largely thanks to the extremely high level of spiritual energy he possesses, as well as being augmented by his physical strength. Hohō also fits instinctually within his Hakuda-inclined mindset because by projecting a concentrated amount of Reiryoku into each action the amount of energy expended in the motion is vastly increased, which both greatly enhances his speed while remaining a perspective of hand-to-hand combat. Whatever his methods are, there is no doubt that he is an incredibly fast and versatile fighter, adjusting and incorporating techniques to fit his current situation as opposed to holding to a canon of specific skills. He uses Hohō for more than simply raw speed, as he also utilizes it in enhancing the reflexes and perceptions of his entire body. Practically, as net force is determined by the rate at which momentum changes over time, the faster a stationary object is pushed to maximum speed, the more force it will gain. While Hein may not understand the mechanics behind this action, he does employ it to his advantage, using Hohō to increase the amount of thrust in order to deliver punches and kicks with incredibly destructive force. However, despite the initial appearances of such attacks, this actually demands a high level of skill, and his fine control is such to where he can evade and out-maneuver his opponents even while twisting through the air at impossible angles, reorienting himself to work around inconvenient positions, or otherwise performing difficult feats that demand a high level of agility. It should be noted that he did not achieve mastery in Hohō until he gained the concentration needed to do so after learning how to perceive the world around him while blind. Before he relied on brute force to power through Shunpo, but eventually he learned to use Hohō as a skill in its entirety with much greater control. Now, his speed is such that he has shown to be able of keeping up with Byakuya Kuchiki during their battle, although it was difficult for him to do so.

Hein shunpo

Hein slips past an opponent using Shunpo.

Shunpo: Similar to his Ryū-hochō style of using his flame-based Reiatsu in conjunction with his Hakuda, Hein is also capable of enhancing his speed in Shunpo using fire to the same affect. His steps are aggressive and forceful, and with a sudden release of fiery spiritual pressure at the point of movement he can vastly increase the distance with which he is able to travel in a single step. The main drawback to this is that it puts a serious strain on his level of stamina, and as such is suitable for combat or short sprints but not for long distance travel, which he uses normal Shunpo for despite it being much slower.
Speed Clones: While most likely a slightly unintentional technique, Hein can move with enough speed so as to appear in several places at once, the incorporeal afterimages following the trajectory of his movements. While at first indistinguishable by sight, an extremely perceptive opponent will be able to tell them apart due to the lack of concentrated Reiatsu, and for anyone they will quickly notice which forms fade and disappear, as the clones do not last long. By this time, however, Hein may be able to use the distraction to his disadvantage in order to land an attack.
Ustusemi: Hein is capable of reaching high enough speeds to create an afterimage, and by imbuing this image with a slight amount of flame-based Reiryoku as he moves, it can become slightly tangible, enough to where it can appear to have taken damage. As this technique is normally reserved to those within the Onmitsukidō, it is unknown where or how he learned the technique, although it is possible he discovered it by his own experimentation after gaining mastery of Hohō. Another plausible explanation is that he simply mimicked Byakuya Kuchiki after witnessing how the later used Shunpo.
Projected Shunpo: By combining both Shunpo and Hakuda, Hein is capable of delivering concussive blasts of penetrating force without even coming into physical contact with his target. The secret of the technique is the sudden withdrawal of a motion or the halt of an attack. Due to the rate of speed at which he was formerly travelling, the amount of energy withheld is immense, and as such a destructive shockwave is released in the wake of the motion. He can concentrate this technique by focusing on a specific attack, such as a punch or kick in order to deliver the dangerous blows with greater accuracy. If he is using Ryū-hochō in conjunction with this technique, the effects can be devastating.

Limited Kidō Expertise: Hein is aware of the mechanics of basic Kidō and is familiar with many different spells although he does not, or cannot, utilize them effectively in combat. However, he possesses significant prowess in solely one area: neutralization, negation, repulsion, and deconstruction Kidō, also known as Sekidō. He has stated that this is the farthest extent of his interest in Kidō, and that he in fact hates Kidō in general. As a result, he does not employ even low-level spells in other areas such as Bakudō or Hadō, instead focusing all of his attention and skill on neutralization spells. At first he expressed no desire whatsoever to use Kidō in battle, and learned almost all of his spells with an entirely different purpose in mind. However, as Kidō is commonly used in instances of surprise attacks he has found that the spells he mastered have excellent applications in battle, as he is for the most part capable of destroying or otherwise negating the effects of a Kidō, Ginto, or similar-natured attack. When used in conjunction with his Shintō Jun technique, he is able to read the flow of Reishi around him and can sense when it changes, allowing him to predict and counter unforeseen attacks and spells cast without an incantation. He himself can use Eishohaki for most Sekidō spells, compensating for the lack of an incantation with his own spiritual power, allowing him to instantly employ counter spells in combat while retaining a high degree of force. Hein has further demonstrated his expertise by taking simple spells such as Seki and altering their application to unequivocally deconstruct and destroy the Kidō of an opponent. Instead of harmonizing with the “will” of Reishi in order to complete these spells, he forcefully subdues the amorphous mass of wills with his own, effective for imbuing his own body with Kidō for techniques such as Hanki while making more technical spells such as Kokkai incredibly unstable and dangerous to use. But as he employs techniques such as Kokkai on a regular basis during battle, it seems he is either ignorant or reckless of this danger. In reality he has grown accustomed to the unstable and chaotic state of his own Kidō, and while he may be unable to ever achieve true mastery due to this innate wall, he possesses considerable expertise in the art of Sekidō.

Zanpakutō

Moeru Hai (燃灰, "Burning Ash") is the name of Hein’s Zanpakutō. It more closely resembles a traditional tachi as opposed to a katana, as the blade is longer and worn cutting-edge down. The blade also has more curvature to compensate for its length, and kept well-oiled and sharpened. Considering Hein’s somewhat indifferent demeanor, this is likely a result of disuse as opposed to fastidious care. He typically wears the sword casually slung across his shoulders, with the strap long enough to allow the tachi to hang at waist level. The tsuba is made of dark, gleaming black metal and has a subtle rectangular floral shape, although it is relatively minimalist in design. The tsuka (hilt) is intricately wrapped with deep orange tsuka-ito that has a pattern of bright gold threads running through the cloth. The kashira (pommel) is also gold, but the makidome insert matches the tsuba in color, and has a square gold ring attached to it, large enough for it to swing back and forth over the kashira. The tsuka is attached to the blade with two pegs as opposed to one, and does not have a menuki to disguise them. As for the saya , it matches the theme of the sword’s trappings, and its main body is a deep reddish-orange in color. The cloth wrapping extends almost a third of the way down the saya, and the excess strap is wrapped around two hangers attached to the scabbard. The bottom quarter of the saya is demarcated by a gold collar and is made of black lacquer as opposed to red, and there is a small gold button on either side of the saya with a square cutout in the center, resembling a Japanese coin. In all, Moeru Hai is a very attractive and beautifully designed sword, its complexity mainly due to the fact that it was created for a noble family. This is part of the reason why Hein was so drawn to it in the first place, as it seemed valuable to him, and he has not changed or customized its appearance since the day he acquired it in any major way.

Shikai

Fire release

Hein surrounded by the flames of his released Reiatsu.

The release command is "Smolder" (燻る, Iburu). When released, the Shikai granted him the ability to manifest and manipulate fire according to his will. While Hein was able to gain significant control over his Shikai, he in fact rarely used it due to personal distaste. He called the release basic and uninspiring, and generally considered it to be a waste of his time. He also felt the flames to be uncomfortably similar to those of the demon living inside of him, and so typically tried to avoid using it at all costs. This is incredibly ironic considering his current fighting style and his flame-based Reiatsu. Perhaps first gaining and then refusing to use a Shikai left a vacuum where his soul began to express the nature of his Zanpakutō without actually relying or even communicating on the spirit of a Zanpakutō. In other words, as much as he claims to detest it, fire is the innate manifestation of his own soul.

Bankai

Maō-en (魔王炎, Japanese for "Devil King's Flame"). Hein no longer possesses, or is no longer capable of Bankai as it was consumed by the demon some years ago. In the past it had been described as a “sea of black waves,” and was apparently incredibly powerful with intense destructive capabilities. While he seems unashamed to admit to the fact that he does not have a Bankai, he will usually brush it aside as if it mattered little to him or was unimportant in the end result order to intimidate an opponent. His usual excuse is that he cast it aside due to it being unnecessary, and will never admit to having lost it to the demon, which in reality he considers to be an immense and crippling loss.

Quotes

(At a Captain's meeting) "Terrible indecent idea, if ya ask me. It’s just runnin’ scared. Ya’ve been sayin’ this whole time that ya can’t underestimate this ‘threat’ or such-and-such because a whole bunch of Visored managed to get real clobbered... But none of ya are suggestin’ that it could have been from their own incompetence. [2]
(Hein reminiscing on his lack of happiness) "Funny ain’t it? For so long the only thing I was ever concerned about was survival, ya know? ...But leastways that’s goin’ for nothing. Someone like me could never reach it anyway, no matter how hard I kept fightin’ for it. They say there’s no glory in battle, ain’t it so? I guess it was too much to ask for, for a demon like me."[3]

Basic Vocabulary

Trivia

  • His theme song, as stated by the author, is Shura, by DOES. His secondary or "battle" theme is Creepin', by Eric Church.
  • Hein's appearance was based off the character of Yuan from the manga (and anime) series Samurai Deeper Kyō.
  • In Japanese, Hein would use the first person casual male form “wai,” which is distinctive (if archaic) of the Kansai dialect. "San" becomes "han." Hein's accent was structured to match the allegedly "violent" dialect of Banshū-ben, although significant liberties have been taken in transcribing the accent into English.
  • While most Shinigami are only able to stand in mid-air by fixing Reiatsu beneath their feet, Hein has been shown to be capable of sitting down in midair, which suggests he is able to fix Reiatsu beneath his derriere.[4]
  • As Hein is often unable to recall the name of his lieutenant, he instead refers to her as "Kotatsu-han," which is a type of low, wooden table.
  • After suffering defeat at the claws of a rooster he once abducted from his division headquarter’s kitchens,[5] Hein has come to possess a deep and abiding sense of hatred for chickens. He subsequently banned all poultry from his division’s premises, and is noted as the first captain in Soul Society history to have ever done so.

References

  1. Phantom Ascent - Council of the Captains
  2. Phantom Ascent - Council of the Captains
  3. The Withered Branch - Dying Flame
  4. A Flash and a Clamor - The Curtain Draws
  5. My Roommate Was a Hollow
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