|Age||Over 150 (estimated)|
|Height||182.88 cm (6')|
|Weight||68.946 kg (152 lbs.)|
|Affiliation||Gotei 13, Soul Society|
|Occupation||3rd seat of Fifth Division|
|Previous Occupation||7th seat of Seventh Division, Unseated member of Tenth Division|
|Previous Team||Seventh Division, Tenth Division|
|Partner||Shinji Hirako (captain), Momo Hinamori (lieutenant)|
|Previous Partner||Sōsuke Aizen (former captain)|
|Base of Operations||5th Division HQ, Seireitei, Soul Society|
"Having power doesn't mean you have strength. Having compassion and integrity is to have strength."
Masaru Watanabe (渡辺 勝, Watanabe Masaru) is the Third Seat officer of the Fifth Division in the Gotei 13. His captain is He was formerly assigned to both the Seventh Division, as a Seventh Seat, and the Tenth Division, being unseated.
Masaru is a thin, tall young man with light skin and black colored hair. He wears a pair of glasses and keeps his hair neat and tied back into a ponytail. When untied, his hair is shown to be quite long. Masaru has sharp, severe facial features and usually keeps his face in a reserved, doleful expression. He wears the standard Shinigami uniform, albeit with an indigo blue haori over it. The haori has patterns on it, in the shape of white squares arranged in a diamond pattern. A bracelet of wooden Buddhist-style prayer beads is worn around his right wrist.
As a youth, Masaru's appearance differed considerably: he didn't wear glasses and his hair was much shorter. His hair was worn shaved on the sides and back, with the top swept back.
Masaru is a laid back, calm, and collected individual who usually tends to keep to himself. His demeanor comes across to others as stoic and serene, almost monk-like. He is polite and courteous, even to those he faces in battle. As such, he can be construed as an honorable individual, with strong moral fiber and code of ethics. His soft-spoken and gentle mannerisms can also make him come across as somewhat lazy.
He is a skilled musician, particularly fond of the 17-string koto. He occasionally authors a column in Seireitei Communication titled Consonance and Dissonance, which offers tips and pointers involving numerous instruments for fledgling musicians.
Powers and Abilities
Shunpo: Masaru is well versed in the usage of shunpo. He is able to keep up with Lieutenant-level shinigami.
For the spirit, please see Hotaru (Spirit)
Hotaru (蛍, Firefly): When sealed, Hotaru resembles an average katana, with a handle wrapped in dark blue. The tsuba has a shape like a pair of tomoe. Hotaru is always worn at Masaru's left side. Hotaru is a light-type Zanpakutō.
- Shikai: Hotaru's release command is "Glow" (輝く,Kirakira). The shikai changes Hotaru's form into a jumonji yari (spear): there is a central blade, flanked by two crescent moon shaped blades, causing Hotaru to slightly resemble a trident. The blade of the spear is gold in color, whereas the shaft is made of black lacquered wood.
Shikai Special Ability: Hotaru's power revolves around the creation, manipulation, and shaping of light.
- Bankai: Kin'iro no Tengoku no Hotaru (金色の天国のホタル, Firefly of Golden Heaven): Masaru's bankai causes Hotaru's shikai form to let off a glowing mist-like smoke that soon becomes a blinding light. The light coalesces, turning Hotaru into a golden katana.
Bankai Special Ability:
- "Clarity in mind, body, soul will grant you clarity of action."
- "Accept everything for what it is, as is."
- About Sōsuke Aizen, Gin Ichimaru, and Kaname Tōsen: "Traitors have no honor."
- Masaru's theme song is Counting Stars, by Nujabes.
- Masaru's hobbies include watching clouds, stargazing, playing with his cats, and playing the koto.
- His role model used to be Aizen.
- Masaru's appearance is based on Jin, of Samurai Champloo.
- The color often associated with Masaru is indigo, a color between blue and purple. In Japanese symbolism, blue is often associated with fidelity, purity and femininity, whereas purple is associated with nobility or royalty.