Next on the list is a former captain of squad 5, Shinji Hirako. How does he make the list? Well, simply put he was no longer a captain during the Aizen arc of the series and became a visored. While he does return to his rank of captain, I think he can make the list simply because of his hollow abilities.
Shinji Hirako was the captain before Ichigo and his story began. He dawned the hollow mask because of Aizen’s experiments and was eventually kicked out of Soul Society and into the human world. After he and the visoreds assisted in the battle with Aizen, he returned to his captain’s post.
So what make’s him one of my favorites? Well for starters, its his demeanor towards everything. He is very laid back, doesn’t take anything too seriously, and is often cracking jokes or making fun of someone. However, when the need calls, he can become very serious even to the extent of being blood thirsty if provoked.
His zanpakuto, sakanade is also one of the most unique in the entire series. He has the ability to change the perception of the enemy’s sense of direction. He makes left become right, up become down, yet the angle of his attacks are also reversed, making it almost hard to describe and even worse for an enemy (although Aizen figured it out pretty fast, but not before taking a hit). We haven’t seen the bankai yet, but you have to imagine it would be even more frightening that this ability.
One of the best parts of his character is his comedy and interactions with the other characters. He is always squaring off with Ichigo because they always seem to want to fight. He flirts with Ichigo’s classmates, which angers Ichigo even more. But the best part of his comedy is his interactions with Hiyori. Shinji treats her like a little sister, but Hiyori is annoyed by him and often resorts to kicking him in the face (just watch the video).
Shinji is a lovable character who plays an important part in the series. I added him to this countdown because at the stage of the manga/anime I’m reading, he is still a Visored and has not returned to Soul Society yet. Plus, he is just awesome.