EtymologyAn alteration of visor by confusion of the ending.
- A mask worn to disguise
or protect the face.
- A grotesque vizard. -Sir W. Scott
- A pretense
- To mislead and betray them under the vizard of law. -Milton
The vizard are a group of rogue Soul Reapers in the anime and manga series Bleach who have illegally acquired hollow powers.
While the term vizard is spelled in the manga using kanji meaning , it is pronounced as the English , an archaic word meaning mask.
OverviewThe vizard are the antithesis to the arrancar: they are Soul Reapers who have obtained hollow powers. Having begun as Soul Reapers, the vizard appear entirely human. Barring those times when they are using their powers, they are indistinguishable from ordinary Soul Reapers. To gain access to their hollow powers, a vizard dons a hollow mask. This allows them to augment their Soul Reaper abilities with hollow powers, as well as giving them access to some of the generic hollow abilities. Their spiritual pressure likewise changes into a mix of hollow and Soul Reaper. This process of donning one's hollow mask is referred to as .
It is unclear what the motives of the vizard are. The members of the vizard group have been shown to be former high-level Soul Reapers, exclusively drawn from the captain and lieutenant ranks. They are considered criminals by Soul Society for committing the ultimate taboo of acquiring hollow powers; their status as former leaders of Soul Society also marks them as traitors. The vizard are also rejected by hollows, due to their former status as Soul Reapers. It is because of this that it can be presumed that the only side the vizard are on is their own. Regardless, they seem to be valuable allies-to-be in the battle against Sōsuke Aizen's army of arrancar, as Kisuke Urahara mentioned. The vizard have not shown any sort of hierarchy, seeming to prefer a loose-knit organization.
Plot synopsisThe existence of Soul Reaper/hollow hybrids is first hinted at early in the series. In order to regain his Soul Reaper powers after being stripped of them, Ichigo Kurosaki has his Chain of Fate severed by Kisuke Urahara in order to force him to regain his lost power before becoming a hollow. Ichigo is only able to succeed once he begins transforming into a hollow. Ichigo's transformation happens out of sequence, his mask forming first instead of his body breaking apart and reforming, a sign of his resistance, and he emerges as a Soul Reaper wearing a hollow's mask, which he tears off. After he arrives in Soul Society, the hollow mask reappears on his person on several occasions, even though he repeatedly discards it, to block fatal blows. In his fight against Byakuya Kuchiki, Ichigo's inner hollow takes control of his body, causing his mask to reform around his face. Ichigo is able to regain control and tear off the mask before the transformation completes.
Ichigo later discovers that there are other Soul Reapers who have acquired hollow powers besides himself. Shinji Hirako, a boy carrying a zanpakutō and a hollow mask, reveals that these renegade Soul Reapers call themselves the vizard. Shinji tries to convince Ichigo to join their group, saying that only he can teach Ichigo how to control his "hollow within" and keep it from taking over and destroying everything Ichigo cares about. Ichigo initially refuses Shinji's offer, but relents after realizing he can't control his inner hollow on his own. Ichigo insists that he's merely using them to learn how to control his inner hollow.
To accomplish this task, Shinji knocks Ichigo unconscious so he can face his inner hollow on common ground. As this happens, Ichigo's body transforms into a rabid hollow, which the vizard take turns battling in order to keep it in check. Ichigo manages to overcome and subdue his inner hollow, and begins training with the vizard to better control his new powers. Ichigo abandons his training when the town is threatened, despite having very little control over his powers compared to the more experienced vizard.
AbilitiesIn battle, the vizard use their hollow powers to augment their Soul Reaper abilities, granting them massive increases in speed, stamina, and strength. They also gain access to some of the common hollow abilities, such as cero blasts. Bodily harm can seemingly be ignored while wearing their masks, as demonstrated by Ichigo's hollow during his unwilling transformations. The hollow mask can only be maintained for a certain period before its effects wear off: Ichigo can only hold his transformation for a short period (eleven seconds at first), while the other vizard can go several hours without tiring.
Vizard zanpakutō function in the same manner as those of standard Soul Reapers; however, none of them have explicitly used their releases in combat yet, excluding Ichigo and Kensei. The vizard seem to prefer their mask-given powers to their Soul Reaper abilities. The vizard remain in complete control while wearing their masks, unlike Ichigo's early unstable transformations. As suggested by Aizen, the fusion of the two spiritual entities allows these Soul Reapers to reach levels of power far surpassing that of either side.
While it is made clear how Ichigo gained his hollow powers, it is not shown how the other vizard gained theirs. Shinji hints that Ichigo's conflict with his inner hollow is a common symptom, however. Aside from the dangerous method used by Urahara, the Orb of Distortion could allow a Soul Reaper to use hollow powers, but it has only been shown doing the opposite.
CharactersThere are eight known vizard aside from Ichigo Kurosaki. Five of these are men and the other three are women. Three vizard speak kansai-ben, a dialect spoken in Osaka and Kyoto. All vizard are former Soul Reaper captains or lieutenants from approximately 100 years before the main storyline.
- anime voices Tetsu Inada
- anime voices Masaya Onosaka
Shinji's hollow mask resembles a pharaoh's mask. Shinji is quite skilled with his hollow powers, using a single cero blast to easily overwhelm Grimmjow Jeagerjaques. The video games also depict him being able to split the cero blasts into a pyramid shaped attack. Not much has been revealed about Shinji's zanpakutō, as he rarely uses or even visibly wears it. The hilt and sheath are red. None of his release states have been shown, and the times that he does seriously fight he seems to rely more on his hollow mask.
- anime voices Akemi Kanda
Mashiro's hollow form bears a distinct resemblance to Kamen Rider's armor. She has elongated, armored legs. Her hollow mask resembles a heart-shaped bee's head with two antennae sticking out from the indent at the top of the heart. She was able to maintain her hollow mask for fifteen hours on her first attempt to control her hollow, which means she did not need to train like the other vizard.
- anime voices Tomokazu Sugita
Kensei's zanpakutō is named and is released with the command . When sealed, its hilt is in a sort of 'H' shape. His shikai shrinks it down into the form of a survival/combat knife. While in this form, Kensei demonstrates the ability to charge and fire spiritual energy from the blade. His hollow form looks humanoid with cylindrical structures sprouting from his back and shoulders, one on each shoulder and the other six on his back. Bone-like armor grows over his forearms, and two extra plates cover his fists. His mask looks similar to a hockey mask, but is squared off with six eyes and extends around the back of his head.
- anime voices Shouto Kashii
- anime voices Reiko Takagi
Hiyori took the longest to defeat her inner hollow out of all the current vizard (excluding Ichigo, who took about the same amount of time), at 69 minutes and 2 seconds. Hiyori's zanpakutō is standard in appearance with her tsuba decorated in small hearts, a contrast to her not-so-girlish personality. She normally wears her sword from her right shoulder, like Ichigo. Her hollow mask is rhinoceros-like in appearance, sporting a prominent horn centered near the forehead.
- anime voices Takashi Nagasako
- anime voices Kanako Hatori
vizard in Spanish: Vizard
vizard in French: Vizards
vizard in Indonesian: Vizard
vizard in Italian: Vizard
vizard in Malay (macrolanguage): Vizard
vizard in Polish: Vizard
vizard in Portuguese: Vizard