Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto is the captain of the First Squad in the Gotei 13 and also the Captain-Commander of the entire Gotei 13. His lieutenant is Chojiro Sasakibe. He is also the supreme commander of the entire Heroes Alliance forces.
Yamamoto is the oldest captain in the Gotei 13. He has the appearance of an old man with red eyes, a very long white beard, and long eyebrows. There are many scars on his torso and head, the two most prominent being a pair of long, perdendicular scars above his right eye, left by his battle with his lieutenant. He wears the standard Shinigami uniform, but its size is greatly exaggerated. He drapes his haori over his back instead of actually wearing it, with the haori having a deep purple coloration on the coat's underside, and the First Squad's rhombus symbol on the coat's backside. Despite his old and frail appearance, he has a very muscular body which he only reveals when he goes into battle, something which Shunsui Kyoraku claims is not seen too often.
As the captain-commander of Gotei 13, Yamamoto is highly respected by most of the Shinigami, most notably Sajin Komamura, who views Yamamoto as a benefactor who saved his life. The embodiment of conviction, Yamamoto follows the laws and regulations of Soul Society to the letter, and expects the same of others. He is not a man to tolerate insubordination, and is vocal with those who attempt to act in such a manner. He is quick to anger in the face of possible betrayal, and can be quite aggressive in combat. His personality is similar to that of the Fourth Raikage. When in a state of peace, he carries himself with an air of frailty, even to the point where he has fallen asleep standing while awaiting Shunsui Kyoraku's arrival for a meeting. Due to years of experience, Yamamoto very rarely shows any sign of distress or surprise, usually responding by opening one or two of his eyes, which are partially closed slits the majority of the time.
Powers and Abilities
- Grandmaster Swordsman Specialist - As a founder of the Shinigami Academy and a warrior with over two millennia of combat experience, Yamamoto is the most powerful combatant in all of Soul Society. Few would hope to come out alive from a fight with him. He can fight two captain-level Shinigami simultaneously with a single hand. His skill in swordsmanship is great enough to take down his opponent with a single precise strike. Even when using only his right arm (since his left arm was destroyed by a forbidden Hado spell), he is still very powerful and was able to successfully fend off two Reigai versions of two advanced captain-level Shinigami without effort.
- Hitotsume: Nadegiri (The First: Killing Stroke)
- Onibi (Oni Fire)
- Shunpo Grandmaster - He is also seen to be experienced in the art of Shunpo, being able to outstrip Shunsui and Jushiro in terms of speed during a chase across Seireitei. He is able to easily overtake both captains and arriving at their destination first without even being noticed by the other two captains.
- Hakuda Master - As a master of unarmed and hand-to-hand combatant, Yamamoto has had over a millennium's worth of experience. As with his skill in swordsmanship, he also has skill in hand-to-hand combat, as evident from his ability to effortlessly catch a strike from the deceptively fast Ayon. While it is uncertain how much his skill has declined from his advanced age, he is still a dangerous and highly skilled combatant. He even swiftly defeated Wonderweiss Margela, after learning the Arrancar's special ability to seal his Ryujin Jakka.
- Ikkotsu (Single Bone)
- Sokotsu (Double Bone)
- Kido Master - Yamamoto's vast knowledge of Kido is so great that he can perform them without calling out a name, while retaining its great potential power, whereas most users require a name to do so, if not a full incantation. He is also able to produce immensely powerful barriers to protect him from all but the strongest of dangers.
- Master Strategist and Tactician - With his years of experience as a teacher and warrior, along with being the commander of the entire Gotei 13, Yamamoto is a very intelligent man. He is capable of quickly adjusting to new developments and making quick decisions accordingly . He has great tactical acumen , as shown from his preparations for the battle in Karakura Town. He is shown to be also a very perceptive man, demonstrated from how easily he could tell Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi was hiding knowledge on the Bounts. His skill at battle tactics is undeniable, as general he commonly sends the captains and divisions out to engage in battle for over a number of centuries, be it to relatively small or large number of threats. Also, he gives commands to his subordinates that may seem harsh or excessive, but often yield fruitful results, because of the rebellious acts that ensue, which he most likely had already calculated.
- Immense Strength - In addition to his surprisingly muscular physique for his age, Yamamoto possesses tremendous physical strength. He easily and swiftly put a large hole into the chest of the monster Ayon without much effort at all, using only the blunt end of his cane. With a single hand, he stopped one of Ayon's strikes and overpowered it, despite it having enlarged its arm and increased its strength several folds. With one punch, he put a large hole through the chest of Wonderweiss Margela while he was in Resurreccion and sent him flying back several city blocks. He tore off Wonderweiss' arms, with his bare hands, with little to no effort. With a single double-fisted strike, he shattered Wonderweiss' entire body into pieces.
- Immense Endurance - Despite his old age, Yamamoto can fight for long periods of time, even when outnumbered, with no visible signs of exhaustion. He can take direct attacks from others unfazed. He can endure being impaled on a sword without so much as flinching from the perceived damage, even when the blow is dealt by the likes of Aizen.
- Immense Durability - In addition to his resilience, Yamamoto possesses remarkable durability. He fought against two of Soul Society's strongest captains, Shunsui Kyoraku and Jushiro Ukitake, and emerged without any sign of injury. He took an onslaught of punches from Wonderweiss's multiple arms twice, and came out completely unfazed by the assault, with no more than simple scratches. He sustained an explosion of flames which had the power to incinerate all of Karakura Town and a great area around it. In his younger years, he challenged Chojiro to defeat him with his newly achieved Bankai, and in the end only suffered a light scar on his forehead.
- Tremendous Spiritual Power - Being one of the oldest member of Soul Society and second oldest shingami behind Retsu Unohana, Yamamoto possesses an exceedingly powerful amount of Reiryoku. Its sheer strength is great enough to easily break free from four overlapping and high-level Bakudo spells restraining him. Even Aizen openly acknowledges Yamamoto's power is superior to his own spiritual power. Yamamoto states he has served as the Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13 for over 1,000 years because there has not been a Shinigami stronger than him born in all this time. His Reiatsu is crimson red.
- Masterful Reiatsu Control - Yamamoto can exert his Reiatsu to induce fear in captain-level combatants, and can physically paralyze combatants of lieutenant-level and lower simply by gazing in their direction. Yamamoto's spiritual pressure has the same effect as his Zanpakutō, for it is the elemental representative of fire. He tends to glow with a fiery aura, which has the potential to burn and set his surroundings on fire without the use of his Zanpakutō. It is the formidable pressure of his Reiatsu which makes the Reiatsu itself look like flames. When Yamamoto is enraged, his Reiatsu is powerful enough to be felt all around Seireitei with tremendous force.
Ryujin Jakka (Flower Blade-Like Flame) is the name of Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's Zanpakuto. His Zanpakuto is the oldest, most powerful fire type and has greater attack power than all other Zanpakuto in Soul Society. In its sealed form, Ryujin Jakka usually takes the appearance of a harmless wooden staff which can be used like a spear. At any time, Yamamoto can instantly remove that disguise, by peeling off the wood, to reveal its true form of a standard katana with a dark purple handle and a circular hand-guard. Its power is so great that even the strongest of Shinigami are afraid of it even in its sealed form. His Zanpakuto is a Fire-Type.
- Shikai - Its' Shikai release command is "All Things in the Universe turn to Ashes". The release of his Zanpakuto comes with an extreme release of spiritual pressure affecting all in the area, and can be felt for miles upon miles across all of Seireitei.
Shikai Special Ability - When released, the blade of Ryujin Jakka is engulfed in fire. The aura of this weapon disintegrates everything and anything which Yamamoto waves the sword at, changing it into nothing more than ash, and engulfs the surrounding landscape in a blazing firestorm, the heat of which is intense enough to scorch the sky. It is said that Ryujin Jakka is the most powerful Fire-type Zanpakuto in all of Soul Society, which is as powerful as Toshiro Hitsugaya's Hyorinmaru (the most powerful Ice and Snow-type Zanpakuto). Only powerful fighters such as Shunsui and Ukitake can resist it, but even then only indirectly. Even in its Shikai, Ryujin Jakka is powerful enough to fight against the Shikai of two other captains simultaneously, both of whom had the reputation of being the strongest captains in Soul Society while together. Unlike other known Zanpakuto, resealing Ryūjin Jakka does not deactivate any ability already used against an opponent, proven when Yamamoto imprisons Sosuke Aizen, Gin Ichimaru, and Kaname Tosen.
- Jokaku Enjo (Fortress Blaze)
- Taimatsu (Torch)
- Ennetsu Jigoku (Flames of Hell)
- Chojiro Sasakibe (Lieutenant)
- Shunsui Kyoraku (Student and "Son" Figure)
- Jushiro Ukitake (Student and "Son" Figure)
- Retsu Unohana (Student)
- Rojuro "Rose" Otoribashi
- Shinji Hirako
- Byakuya Kuchiki
- Sajin Komamura
- Kensei Muguruma
- Toshiro Hitsugaya
- Kenpachi Zaraki
- Mayuri Kurotsuchi
- Ichigo Kurosaki
- Karin Kurosaki
- Hakura Otsutsuki
- The Vanderich
- Sosuke Aizen
- Gin Ichimaru
- Kaname Tosen
- The Arrancars
- The Espada
- Wonderweiss Margela
- Kageroza Inaba
- The Reigai
Background in Other Media
- Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto/Battles & Events