|Age||Unknown (about four hundred)|
|Previous Affiliation||First division|
|Previous Team||First division|
|Base of Operations||Unknown (presumed to be in the World of the Living or the Dangai)|
|Relatives||Maki Zhijun (older brother)|
|Bankai||Not yet achieved|
- "A relentless spirit with a drive for vengence."
Shiba Zhijun (しば肖, Zhijun Shiba) is an ancient and incredibly powerful shinigami that has been around for centuries. While still a member of the Gotei 13, Shiba was a prominent man in the twefth division and first division, having been one of the division's Captain, Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, favored members while serving in the latter. During the war against Sōsuke Aizen, Shiba was the third seat of his division. As the third seat, he participated fully in the winter war, having fought off the gillian-class menos being summoned by Fūrā, as well as the reiryoku wolves created by Coyote Starrk. Sometime after Aizen's defeat and imprisonment, Shiba was promoted to the position of Lieutenant, although not much was heard about him during this time. After several decades of being the second-in-command to the Captin-Commander, Shiba was recommended for the position of Captain-Commander. However, once Yamamoto passed, his student, Madoka Mizuki, was automatically granted said position. This caused the Lieutenant to become incredibly jealous of the woman, which served to force the man into self-exile. As of late, Shiba has been planning to exact his vengence on Madoka, although it is unknown when he shall execute this plan. Along for the ride is Kanzen Horagai, a renegade quincy trying to exterminate Soul Society, much like the shinigami brought the quincies to the point of extinction. While in hiding, he has learned that he is the younger brother of Maki Zhijun, although Shiba has yet to encounter his older relative.
To be expected from a former member of the first division, Shiba is a fairly well-built individual, having toned muscles and broad shoulders. He is also of high stature; towering over many of his opponents. Despite this, he does not look intimidating, a tactic that he likes to use to fool the enemy. He was always seen with his spiky blue hair tied in a ponytail, with mutton chops and the beginnings of a beard appearing on his chin. Attire-wise, Shiba wore a modified form of the standard shinigami garb while in Soul Society: his shihakushō was a pale-brown instead of the usual black. Over this was a brown haori, which sometimes caused opponents to identify Shiba as one of the Captains of the Gotei 13. As for footwear, he wore the traditional sandals that so many shinigami wear.
After his defection, Shiba drastically changed his appearance. Instead of keeping his hair up and out of his face, he now lets it hang on the sides of his face, which frames his cheeks better than it did up in it's ponytail. He appears clean-shaven, with the stubble from his earlier years now completely gone. As for his outfit, Shiba now wears a brown, rag-looking long-sleeved shirt with a ruffled collar. Pants-wise, he now wears a pair of pants that are the same colour as his hair, and similar to capris that are traditionally worn by women. The only piece of Shiba's appearance that seems to have stayed constant is his sandals, which appear to be the exact same pair he wore during his times as an "official" shinigami. It is unknown if they are, in fact, his old pair of footwear, but it is heavily speculated that this is fact.
During his time within the Gotei 13, Shiba was quite humble young man; never boasting or being arrogant about his abilities as a shinigami. Despite this humbleness, he is fully aware of his incredible abilities, but feels that bragging about such things only leads to defeat. Uncommon for shinigami, Shiba was an incredibly caring individual; he frequently paid a visit to the ghettos of the Rukongai, where he hands out food, as well as clothing and the like, to it's inhabitants. Shiba has also been known to put other people's lives before his own, shown when he took a point-blank cero from one of the gillians Fūrā had summoned for the thriteenth seat of his division. When asked by the seated member why he did this, he told him that "your life is probably more important than my own."
However, after hearing of the former Captain-Commander's will, Shiba's personality took a drastic turn for the worst. Instead of his caring mindset he commonly displayed while still in Soul Society, he will go out of his way to kill an individual that he feels has disrespected him. Shiba also displays a liking for causing pain, as seen when he continued to stab a captured enemy after they had already given him the information he was interrogated said person for. Another complete three-sixty in his personality is that Shiba is no longer humble about his abilities; going as far as stating that he has "transcended that of all other shinigami." Because of this, his success rate in battle has been shown to suffer greatly; although Shiba is still capable of defeating his opponent with relative ease if he doesn't boast about his power.
When entering into the battlefield, Shiba's personality is more or less the same. Despite having very few changes, the transformations that are present are very dangerous. One of these changes is that he is incredibly cruel, to the point that he will torture an opponent for days on end. Shiba is also very cunning for someone of his arrogance, being able to plan out several different strategies and then quickly deduce which one will be the most effective in any given battle. Although he rarely has to lower himself to this, Shiba has been shown to fight dirty if he is pushed into a corner, but this is very rarely the case with the powerful ex-Lieutenant. Even though he is usually extremely cruel, he shown himself to be capable of empathizing with a desperate opponent, but there are very few occurrences that Shiba will reveal this about himself.
Born and raised in the Seireitei, Shiba was very friendly to his neighbors, as well as the citizens of the Rukongai. When he entered the Shinō Academy, he treated almost everyone equally, with the only exceptions being his instructors and bullies. To his instructors, he was very respectful, never speaking out of turn. However, if a bully tried speaking/insulting him, Shiba continued to ignore their very existence, finding them not worth of exchanging words or fists with. This lack of respect towards bullies, along with the respect he gave to his teachers caused his superiors to respect him as much as he had respected them.
In Shiba's classes, he did exceptional work, getting the highest scores in almost every subject he was taught. Although he showed himself to be very determined to graduate from the academy, his skills in the area of kidō were severely lacking. To make up for this, Shiba began to train in swordplay for hour on end, perfecting his proficiency in the art. Due to this constant training for perfection, he felt extremely confident that he'd be able to pass his graduation exam with little to no effort at all.
The academy's exam consisted of three tests; a written test, use of the Hadō #4 - Byakurai spell, and defeating an assigned instructor. Shiba swiftly finished his first test, finishing it an hour ahead of any of his classmates. During his second test, he barely passed, taking a grand total of seven times to do the low-level kidō spell successfully. On the third and final test, Shiba passed with flying colours. He defeated his most respected instructor by using zanjutsu to back him into a corner, and then finish him off with his hakuda skills.
After passing his graduation exam, Shiba was announced to have been selected as the top of his class, with which he was given a blue ribbon with the words "top student" embroidered in gold on it. Although his class had held twenty students in the beginning, only eight of them had received high enough scores on their exams to pass. These eight were then selected by the Captains of the Gotei 13 to serve on their teams. Seeing a very large amount of potential in him, Kisuke Urahara placed Shiba in his division as the twelfth seat, where he would enjoy a large portion of his time while still in Soul Society.
Within the very same year, Shiba was promoted to the fifth seat, something the caused the boy great happiness. He began to act much more serious, hoping to be a role model for up-and-coming members. When his higher-ups assigned the newest members to him, he taught them about strength in numbers, as well teamwork. Shiba quoted himself multiple times, telling his students that "even though there is strength in numbers, that strength means nothing without teamwork to back it up." This inspired several of these youngsters to become exceptional shinigami, being herald as talented and very down-to-earth. These accomplishments made Shiba very proud, feeling like his students were his own flesh and blood. His teachings quickly made him a prime candidate for the rank of Lieutenant.
After two years of teaching the newbies, Shiba was promoted to Lieutenant of the twelfth division. As Lieutenant, he was the second-in-command to his Captain, something that made the masses of the Seireitei look up to him. While Urahara was away on missions or ambassador trips, Shiba was in charge, with him being known as a very fair and considerate individual while in command. This high amount of leadership skills would soon pay off, as he was immediately reassigned to the first division, where he would be the third seated member.
Siege of the Winter War
- "A war over species. The war caused the Gotei 13 and the visoreds to come together and fight for a future not shrouded in darkness and despair. If we had not been successful, Soul Society would be extremely different that what it is today."
- —Shiba talking about the war with a few of subordinates.
When the Winter War broke out, Shiba's title was relieved of him and he was just assigned an area of the fake Karakura Town to protect with his life, due to positions having nothing to do with this war. He was, at first, a simple shinigami within the one of the districts of Karakura, a district in which many of the gillians that had been summoned when Fūrā appeared would eventually swarmed to. Throughout the district, Shiba made many friends, many of whom did not survive. After the war had started, he was placed on the front lines, gaining Soul Society some much needed success. While on the front lines, he dispatched hundreds of the gillian swarms.
A few hours into the war, Tōshirō Hitsugaya had noticed that Shiba was unhappy with his duty at the moment. After speaking with him, Tōshirō learned that Shiba's zanpakutō, which could decimate the enemies numbers. Immediately following this revelation, Tōshirō then took it upon himself to have Shiba fight Wonderweiss Margela, who was holding his own against two powerful visoreds already. From that moment, he would fight Wonderweiss along with Kensei Muguruma and Mashiro Kuna. Despite holding his own for awhile, Shiba was quickly incapacitated by the artificial arrancar, which caused him to be taken out of the battle and sent back to Soul Society.
After the war
Not much was heard of Shiba immediately following the war. However, several years later, he would be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant of the first division, where he would soon come at odds with a woman named Madoka Mizuki. Their rivalry was unmatched in all of Soul Society, which Shiba feeling he was more worthy of his Captain's respect than Madoka, who had been the Captain-Commander's student for years.
Once Yamamoto passed away, the young shinigami would be present for the reading of the old man's will, due to the fact that it could reveal that he was the new Captain, and by extension, the new Captain-Commander. However, Shiba would later come to find that Madoka had been selected instead of him, which caused him to become incredibly furious with Yamamoto, as well as the rest of the Gotei 13. Upon hearing this news, Shiba's anger towards his old rival had only increased, to the point that he had to self-exile himself from Soul Society.
Seeing no other way to resolve this matter, Shiba defected from his homeland. Although it was originally thought by many of the citizens of Soul Society that this was because he had joined a criminal organization, it was revealed several years later that he was making sure he wouldn't kill Madoka. As he wandered the spiritual planes, looking for a new place to call home, Shiba would eventually be forgotten, with only those who he was close to knowing where he had vanished to. Sometime during his travels, Shiba would join forces with Kanzen Horagai and begin to involve the quincy in his plans. Relatively around the same time, the Zhijun clansman discovered that he was related to Maki Zhijun, although he has yet to even meet the man he now calls his older brother.
Mask: Although not often seen, Shiba possesses a prehistoric-looking mask that is reminiscent of a hollow mask, but this is far from true, as the hollow mask enhances the abilities of the wielder. While wearing the mask, the wielder's spiritual energy is impossible to sense, even for the strongest of sensors. When Shiba puts the mask on, it is usually only for infiltrating an enemies area undetected, but it is used, on incredibly rare occasions, to hide his presence as he attempts to quickly assassinate his intended target.
Sheath: After defecting from Soul Society, Shiba no longer has any belt or sash where he can place his zanpakutō's sheath. As such, he is typically seen carrying it around wherever he goes, much like Ikkaku Madarame.
Powers and abilities
Vast Spiritual Energy: Even during his time in the academy, Shiba was known for his particularly large reserves of spiritual energy; an amount that very few every possess, even as adults. Due to this, he was instructed to hone his skill in controlling the reiryoku, as it could be a potential danger to the rest of the academy, students as well as instructors. Shiba practiced for an hour each day until he perfected his control over his spiritual energy, which didn't take as long as his teachers had predicted. While in the Gotei 13, Shiba control would remain relatively the same, with his control wavering every so often. Despite this great control, after his defection, he would totally disregard controlling said energy, which caused him a great deal of power to be lost, although Shiba failed to see this.
Master Swordsmanship Skills: Having been one of, if not the worst practitioners of kidō in the history of Soul Society, Shiba trained for days on end to master the art of zanjutsu. While he attempted to become a specialist of the blade, he would take up the art of iaidō, which he has since become the most skilled user of iaidō ever born from Soul Society. As the years dragged on, Shiba would eventually become a highly skilled combatant when it came to swordplay. Despite the art of blade-wielding his forte, the shinigami prefers to use his hand-to-hand combat whenever he has not released his zanpakutō.
- Iaidō Grandmaster: By quickly drawing his blade to strike the opponent, and then just as quickly re-sheath it after each attack, Shiba has been shown to be very successful while using his iaidō. With his gift of high-natural speed, he can easily attack without the opponent even recognizing it until after the fact. Because of this insane talent, Shiba has been hailed as the God of Iaidō (居合道の神, iaidō no kami), similar to how Yoruichi Shihōin had been nicknamed the Goddess of Flash.
Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Despite it not being his most masterful area of combat, Shiba is quite adept at using his fists instead of a blade to defeat his foes. The most notable time when the ex-Lieutenant demonstrated was during the Winter War, where he defeated many of the gillians with his hakuda alone. However, after his excommunication of sorts, Shiba has let his skill in hand-to-hand combat slide, causing them to not be up to par. Despite this, he is still a capable close-quarters combatant, be able to till dispatch other experts, as well as keep up with two masters of the art at the same time, albeit for only a short burst of time. Having been out-of-practice for years, it is unknown if Shiba can still accomplish this impressive feat.
Shunpō Master: Although Shiba is in possession of a quite high amount of natural speed, he continues to use shunpō regularly. When his own speed is further augmented by the specific art of hohō, he can easily contend with the likes of Byakuya Kuchiki and Suì-Fēng, the latter of which being the Corps Commander of the Onmitsukidō. Despite this substantial amount of speed, Shiba rarely boasts about this, considering any advanced hohō technique to be "the sign of a weakling."
Shiba's zanpakutō, named Dōtekisuibō (どうてきすいぼう, Japanese for "kinetic collapse"), takes the form of an unusually long nodachi, having a total length of 1.7 meters on the blade, with the handle being a dull brown and the butt being a rustic goldenrod. As for the tsuba, it is rectangular and the same colour as the butt of the sword.
- Shikai: Due to his extraordinarily large reserves of spiritual energy, Shiba's blade is, in fact, a "constant release" zanpakutō. As being such, he does not need to use a command to release it, but he is required to speak one to activate it's ability. The release phrase is "annihilate them all" (それらは、すべての全滅, sorera wa, subete no zenmetsu).
- Shikai Special Ability: Dōtekisuibō's ability revolves around the conversing of the potential energy of an object/other form of energy (such as reiryoku, reason, philosophy, etc.) into kinetic energy, which causes said object/other form of energy to explode upon physical contact. The resulting explosion is heavily dependent on the mass of the object/other form of energy: if the object is small, the explosion is about as powerful as a grenade, while the largest of objects containing the force of an atomic bomb. If something is already in motion, Dōtekisuibō can easily accelerate the kinetic energy, shown when Shiba leveled a building with a swing of his blade. However, the thing that Dōtekisuibō wishes to explode must come in contact with the sword, making it impossible for Shiba to just initiate an explosion when too far out-of-reach the opponent.
- Bankai: Not yet achieved.
Although rarely used, Shiba possesses a secondary zanpakutō, which he frequently lends to Kanzen when the latter is fighting tougher opponents.
Shiba's second zanpakutō, named Tenkō (天鋼, Japanese for "heavenly steel"), takes the form of a simple katana with a golden-coloured blade, as well as a black-golden designed hilt, although it lacks a hand guard.
- Shikai: To transform into the zanpakutō into it's shikai, Shiba (or Kanzen, if the quincy is using the soul blade) will place his blade horizontally and whisper "Forged from the heavens" (天から鍛造, Japanese; "ten kara tanzō") into the blade. Immediately, the area around the user will become very heavy, weighing down on the opponent. Despite entering it's initial state, Tenkō's appearance has no visible changes.
- Shikai Special Ability: Tenkō's shikai ability is rather dull compared to most other zanpakutō spirits, as it allows the tōjū to change the length of his blade to any length he wills it. Although he rarely allows it to reach passed one hundred meters - as it could potentially destroy or kill a building or person, respectively - Tenkō has stated that, if he wished, he could have it reach passed the sun or farther. However, this is just something said by the zanpakutō spirit, making it's legitimacy questionable. Aside from it's main ability, the blade cannot be broken, no matter how powerful an attack/ability; as well as being about ten-times quicker than the speed of sound. With this speed, Tenko can expand an retract his blade almost instantly, making it impossible to see with the human eye. Since it's quite a simple ability, opponent's are often caught off-guard by how useful it is, which brings Shiba (as well as Kanzen) great joy.
- Bankai: Not achieved. Shiba has stated that Tenkō shall never reach bankai, as he does not, and cannot, train with the zanpakutō's spirit through jinzen, as it isn't the soul blade that he was born with.
Behind the scenes
Inspiration for Shiba's zanpakutō was solely from Gambit from the X-Men franchise.