|Height||189 cm (6'2")|
|Weight||75 kg (165 lb.)|
|Profession||Balancer of Souls|
|Previous Position||Head of House Maebure|
|Relatives||Hikari Maebure (Son)|
Aiko Maebure† (Daughter-in-law)
Kimiko Kōtaku (Granddaughter)
Akihiko Maebure† (Grandson)
Haruka Mewokuramasu (Great-great-granddaughter)
|Story Debut||The Last Sunset|
"You are the hope of our kin, Hikari-kun. We are an ancient race. Our age of glory has already had reached its peak. Difficult times lay ahead of us, and we will need the strength of the youth like you to prevail."
Mitsuo was a tall man, slender and with toned physique. As a pureblood Sōzōshin his silhouette was very proportional and imposing. He had medium complexion. The features of his oval face were somewhat sharp and firm, with high cheekbones and an aquiline nose. He also possessed pronounced tear-troughs. His long jet black hair were interspersed with grey streaks during the latter days of his life, and usually worn in an elegant braid. The colour of his eyes was reddish-yellow.
He wore very elegant white and black robes with a number of golden adornments that signified his status as a high noble.
Mitsuo was a proud and statuesque man of impeccable manners. Level-headed and very formal, he was a prime example of a Sōzōshin noble. Although rather strict toward his only son, Hikari, he was also very patient. On the one hand he was quick to point out flaws exhibited by his son, though at the same time made sure to praise him whenever he deserved recognition. The two shared a somewhat distant relationship, however, they did treat one another with a great degree of respect and trust.
In spite of Mitsuo's somewhat austere demeanour, his teachings had a profound influence on the worldview of his son that shaped the core of the latter's personality. Furthermore, when Hikari found the body of his Father at a ravaged battlefield, the sheer depth of his sorrow could not be expressed with anything but a continuous stream of tears, probably one of the only instances in his entire life when he cried.
Mitsuo Maebure was the Head of House Maebure. He was also recognised as a fine warrior and great general. He was relatively old when his only son and heir, Hikari, was born.
Mitsuo was present during the ceremony where Hikari received his Asauchi. The boy was excited and impatient, so the old Maebure straightened him out.
Many years later, with Hikari in his teenage Sōzōshin years, the two trained together frequently. During one of those sessions Mitsuo lectured his impetuous son about the importance of composure, focus and good planning in combat. Although largely unimpressed by the strenuous efforts of his son to overcome him, he did praise Hikari for feigning weakness only to retaliate abruptly at one point. They finished that session soon afterward and left the training hall to watch the view of the Royal Dimension. Looking at the Royal Palace in the distance, Mitsuo remarked that the age of the Sōzōshin was about to end, and that their kind would need the strength of the youth like Hikari in order to prevail.
Centuries later Mitsuo was chosen to command an army assembled to combat renegade Souls rampaging across the Soul Society. He led many successful campaigns, though each defeat, although rare, was a heavy blow to the scarce Sōzōshin race.
Ultimately, about two thousand years before the foundation of the Gotei 13, Mitsuo and his unit confronted the notorious Iwao Honda and his band. In the ensuing catastrophic battle the Sōzōshin forces lost, and the old Maebure was killed by the bandit leader in a duel. Hikari found his body amongst the corpses of his men, his Zanpakutō broken.
Powers and Abilities
Zanjutsu Master: Mitsuo was one of the finest swordsmen of his time, seasoned and talented. His preferred style of fighting favoured one-handed use of the katana. Whilst largely focussed on defence, Maebure might have easily retaliated with debilitating swiftness the moment he saw an opportunity present itself. His ostensibly unhurried and gentle style was somewhat reminiscent of some sort of elegant dance. Furthermore, it relied more on finesse and precision rather than physical strength so that it could inflict serious injuries to vital spots with fast, economic thrusts and slashes.
Hakuda Expert: In spite of how unseemly engaging in unarmed combat by someone of such high social standing could have been perceived, Mitsuo was a proficient Hakuda combatant. Primarily fighting with his Zanpakutō, he was nonetheless capable of weaving certain Hakuda manoeuvres into his bladework in order to surprise the enemy. For instance, he was easily able to deliver an abrupt elbow strike to his son's face during one of their training sessions.
Shunpo Expert: Even though his speed was slowly deteriorating with age, Mitsuo was still a fast combatant by the time of his death. He could easily keep up with high level opponents, allowing him to dodge ambushes or retreat quickly to gain some distance when neeeded.
Kidō Expert: Mitsuo was well-versed in the art of spellcasting. His proficiency was hindered due to his reliance on swordsmanship and Zanpakutō abilities, though he still could use low- and mid-level spells in very effective ways.
Enhanced Strength: Somewhat surprisingly, Mitsuo possessed an increased amount of physical strength even from the innately high baseline of his kin. As such, he was fairly unimpressed by the repeating strong strikes performed by his son during training sessions, blocking them with no visible effort.
High Intellect: Furthermore, he was a learned man noted for his level-headedness and tactical acumen. He was chosen to lead an army against the bands of criminal Souls due to those very merits.
Great Spiritual Power: Sōzōshin boasted naturally higher degrees of spiritual power than normal Souls. As the Head of one of the most prominent Sōzōshin families, Mitsuo possessed a very large amount of spiritual energy, somewhat greater than what is considered average for the Captain-class in the modern times. Still, he was surpassed by his son rather early, since Hikari had been already noticeably stronger by the time of his death. The colour of Mitsuo's spiritual pressure was cardinal.
Haneul (하늘, "Aether"): In its sealed state it appears as a tachi with a pentagonal tsuba and an auburn hilt. A single tassel of the same colour is attached to the pommel.
- Mitsuo was not aware of the affair between his son and Ayako Kōtaku, a half-Shinigami warrior, and as a result he did not know about their illegitimate child, Kimiko Kōtaku. Furthermore, the grief-stricken Hikari married Aiko, a diplomat acquaintance, only after his death, so Mitsuo did not have the chance to witness Akihiko Maebure's birth either.