One hundred and ten years ago, the lieutenant of the Fifth Division, Sōsuke Aizen walks through his division barracks, on his way to his captain's quarters. Along the way he is politely greeted by the Shinigami of his division who work under him and he greets each of them graciously in turn.
Approaching the door of his captain, he calls out to let his superior know that he has arrived and apologizes for his intrusion. When he enters, his captain, Shinji Hirako, is fixing his appearance in the mirror. His superior turns towards him and asks why he is not dressed up considering they were heading to what he considers to be a festival. Aizen calmly disagrees with this assessment, reminding Shinji he is not dressed up either and it's a ceremony they are attending, not a festival.
Shinji continues to maintain that a ceremony is a type of a festival and that captains do not need to dress up considering their uniforms to be suffice for this. Aizen replies that it would be as fun if he is the only one dressed up, going on to ask Shinji about the music he has been hearing playing throughout their barracks as of late that originates from his captain's office. Shinji informs him that the music is called Jazz and that it is the latest craze in the World of the Living, asking Aizen if he thinks it's nice. His lieutenant replies that he wouldn't know of such things, prompting Shinji to sigh and ask why he brought it up in the first place.
Shinji and his lieutenant arrive at the barracks of the First Division for the ceremony they are attending. With the large doors close, Shinji calls out and announces his arrival to those inside. When he receives no answer, he comments that coming to the First Division barracks is always such a pain, as it always makes him feel tense and thus he hates going there. Behind him, Aizen sardonically asks if his bored expression was really one filled with tension and reminds him that it is all part of the ceremony so to be reasonable about it. Shinji mocks him, insisting he can't even see his face, but Aizen calmly informs him that the door has opened so he should enter.
As Shinji moves to enter the barracks, he is suddenly kicked in the face by Hiyori Sarugaki, lieutenant of the Twelfth Division, which knocks him flying back, passed a stunned Aizen, landing against a wall in the Seireitei. Hiyori proceeds to greet him mockingly whilst informing him that his face was just too easy to step on to let the opportunity slip by. With his nose bloodied, Shinji angrily calls out to her, about to insult her. However, Hiyori interrupts him and maintains that she refuses to apologize for her actions since she hasn't even begun to insult him yet.
Suddenly, from behind her, a large fist pounds down on her head, forcing her to the ground in agony. The perpetrator, Love Aikawa, captain of the Seventh Division, orders Hiyori to apologize, asserting that she is such a handful to keep an eye on. Holding her head, Hiyori berates Love for striking the lieutenant of a division that is not his own, but Love insists that since her captain is no longer around, someone has to keep an eye on her in the meantime. Hiyori demands that she should not be treated like a child to be looked after.
From behind Love, Shinji begins act childishly, making faces to taunt Hiyori. Her anger peaks when she notices this and she again asserts her refusal to apologize. She tries to persuade Love to look at Shinji's face, insisting that he is showing his true colors covertly. Exasperated, Love sighs and accepts that she isn't going to obey him. He places his palm on her forehead and begins to push her back towards the First Division building so that they can all continue to the ceremony together. When they leave, a horrified Aizen requests that his captain stop his immature behavior, maintaining that it is not appropriate to make such faces in front of other captains.
Inside the building, Shinji follows Love asking if all the other officers have arrived and his companion confirms that most of them have. Seeing his absence, Shinji loudly guesses that the captain of the Eleventh Division is not going to attend the ceremony. Love agrees with this assumption asserting that the 10th Kenpachi, Kenpachi Kiganjō, is lazy and never obeys his orders. Shinji wistfully comments that he feels unsure about the 10th Kenpachi, wondering why they would even let someone like him become a captain. Love advises Shinji that it is the the fault of the previous captain for losing to the current Kenpachi in the first place.
The two captains are suddenly chastised for discussing a fellow captains attributes behind their back. The two turn around to see that Shunsui Kyōraku, Jūshirō Ukitake, and Lisa Yadōmaru, Kyōraku's lieutenant, have arrived for the meeting. Love comments on how early Kyōraku is which is very unlike him. Kyōraku pretends not to notice, stating that he is always first to arrive, but Lisa interrupts him, informing the others that she had to spank him in order to wake him up. A horrified Kyōraku asserts that Lisa shouldn't say such things as that while other captains are within earshot as it is not good social etiquette.
Changing the subject, Ukitake looks around and realizes that Kirio Hikifune has not shown up, wondering if she is not coming to the meeting at all. Kyōraku replies that she will not be in attendance and predicts that she has probably gone to meet up with "the others". Ukitake is concerned by the recent changes stating that he is nervous as a result of them. He admits that the process of promotion hasn't been sudden, but he would have felt a lot better had the proceedings gone a little slower in the meantime. Kyōraku calmly agrees with his words.
A frustrated Shinji sighs over the situation, commenting on the constant promotions and changes in captains in recent years. He uses the fact that Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi was promoted to captain only two years previous to the meeting and now the Twelfth Division is going through a similar change. The entire process of new faces and captains makes him feel uncomfortable. He wonders out loud if the Gotei 13 will function properly with the constant changes that are making him uneasy. Kyōraku advises him not to be concerned as change needs to happen from time to time and that's what is happening now.
Kyōraku realizes that the only captains still around from the previous century are himself, Ukitake and Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto. He looks to Ukitake for confirmation on his summary, but his friend looks worried. Ukitake reminds Kyōraku that he left out Retsu Unohana, who is still a captain and has been one for longer than them both. Stunned, Kyōraku becomes suddenly apprehensive due to his word this, disbelieving that he had forgotten about Unohana, predicting that he is probably going to get chastised for doing so, something he considers a scary prospect.
Kyōraku goes on to elaborate that these changes have not necessarily been the bad kind of change as the previous captain of the Third Division had retired peacefully and Hikifune has been promoted. He laments that things could have been worse as the captain of the Tenth Division had actually been killed in battle. He explains sadly that this is a negative change as in the recent promotions there was no loss of life involved which is never a positive thing to happen within the Gotei 13.
Introduction of the New Captain
The somber mood is interrupted by Aizen who wonders about Hikifune's promotion. Shinji berates him for listening into a captain conversation and his lieutenant immediately apologizes for his interruption. Kyōraku calmly brushes aside his apology and asks what is concerning him. Aizen clarifies that he originally thought that Hikifune was retiring as well and asks Kyōraku to confirm that she is being promoted, which the captain does so. Aizen further inquires how a captain can be promoted as there is no higher post within the Gotei 13. He wonders if Hikifune has been promoted to Central 46, maintaining that he has never heard of this happening before now.
Kyōraku denies that Hikifune is being promoted to Central 46, informing Aizen that she is actually being promoted to the Royal Guard, which is also known to others as Division 0. This knowledge appears to greatly alarm the lieutenant who tries to press Kyōraku for more information, but he is interrupted by Kensei Muguruma, captain of the Ninth Division, who advises those in the room that the newly promoted captain has arrived for the meeting. He explains that Yamamoto has ordered that the all officers take their places and await his arrival. All the officers then get in line, standing at their designated posts to await the new captains arrival.
As the officers stand in line, the new captain rushes towards the meeting, finally arriving whilst shocked to see that he is later than everyone else. Smiling nervously and scratching his head, Kisuke Urahara, the captain of the Twelfth Division, meekly asks those in the room if he is the last one to arrive. The others are shocked by his arrival and Shinji declares that Urahara is a Shinigami who appears to be very carefree. Standing behind him, eyeing Urahara with a keen interest, Aizen agrees with his captains statement.
Smiling sheepishly, Urahara apologizes to the room at large for being late before asserting brightly that it is nice to meet them all. Rose informs Shinji that he is one to talk in believing Urahara to be carefree in appearance. Hiyori stares at her new captain, her face bemused with his behavior. Urahara then nervously asks if it is alright for him to enter the room. Yoruichi Shihōin, captain of the Second Division steps forward and berates Urahara for cowering in the corner. She insists that he is a captain now and should carry himself with more confidence.
Just as a stunned Urahara begins to agree with her, he is struck from behind with the end of Yamamoto's cane. Yamamoto briskly asserts that Yoruichi is correct and that Urahara should hurry up and go on into the room with the other captains and stop being shy and have a more dignified presence. He passes Urahara, who looks injured and withdrawn, glancing around the room and deciding that everyone who is going to show up is present. He then decides that they should commence with the inauguration ceremony for Urahara.
Yamamoto takes his place at the head of the room and announces that he is sure the other captains are already aware of the situation up until that point. Seven days previously, Captain Hikifune of the Twelfth Division was ordered from above to abdicate her position so that she could be promoted. Thus, on the same day, notifications were sent out to each captain so that they could find a Shinigami to fill the role. He reveals that Yoruichi put her 3rd Seat, Urahara, forward as a potential candidate for this role. Thus, Urahara was called upon and along with three other captains, they put him through the Captain Proficiency Test and judged him suitable for the role. Thus, Yamamoto announces that Urahara is the new captain of the Twelfth Division.
Urahara later arrives at his new barracks and gathers his division members and introduces himself to them all, smiling uneasily as he scratches the back of his head. He receives quite an icy and quiet reception and his new lieutenant, Hiyori, keeps her face averted away from his direction. When the Shinigami remain in a stunned, awkward silence, Urahara turns to Hiyori in an attempt to greet her personally. However, instead of shaking his outstretched hand, his new lieutenant viciously slaps his hand away from her, surprising him greatly.
Hiyori angrily declares that Urahara is no captain of hers, revealing that was sick to her stomach when she learnt that Hikifune had to relinquish her position. She also demands to know why someone from the Second Division would want to be promoted and transferred to the Twelfth Division. She states that because of Urahara's former division being closely related to the Onmitsukidō, which is known for its covert operations, somebody who "sneaks around" to kill people in missions is not fit to be their captain or to lead them.
Despite the icy reception they had given Urahara, the other Shinigami of the division begin to speak up against Hiyori's words, maintaining that she is going too far in her accusations. Their lieutenant is surprised by this, angrily insisting that she is only saying the words that they were all thinking. She asserts that her views are correct, incessantly demanding that her subordinates agree with her and speak up about it. However, the other Shinigami present hesitate to reply, some denying her accusations and others barely managing to mumble a response at all.
Nervously, Urahara scratches the back of his head again and begins to laugh awkwardly at the situation. This act incenses Hiyori's temper further and she yells at him for doing so, insisting she's not his friend to be laughing with whilst demanding to know why he hasn't gotten angry or scolded her yet as she was insulting his former division. Urahara smiles as he reminds her that his former position is part of the past and that he is now a member of the Twelfth Division from now on. His asserts that when he woke up, he originally thought he would get angry at any abuse he got from the members of his new division, but since being inaugurated as captain, he has experienced a change of heart. In response, Hiyori kicks him in the genitalia area before running from the room calling his explanation lame. Urahara is physically unaffected, but outside, Hiyori holds her leg in pain realizing he had something under his uniform.
Later that night, Urahara sits outside his new barracks staring at a crescent moon. Shinji arrives on the scene and maintains that he thought Urahara would have a rough time initially with his new division. Shocked by his arrival, when Urahara sees him he greets him using his full title, but Shinji insists that he can use his first name since they were both captains and thus the same rank now. Shinji then joins Urahara by the fence and accurately predicts that Hiyori is giving Urahara a tough time although the new captain brushes off the trouble she is causing.
Shinji tries to explain some of Hiyori's behavior by revealing that she saw Hikifune not only as a captain, but as a mother figure as well. Thus, Hikifune's promotion has hit her hard and it will be tough for Urahara to fill that void left in her life. Urahara wistfully agrees, stating that he wants a good relationship with his lieutenant, but it seems as though he will never be as good as Hikifune. Bemused, Shinji asks if he really believes that and reveals some advice that Hikifune used to give others. Captains can never please their subordinates all the time, but even then they should still do what they feel is right for each of their divisions.
Getting up to leave, Shinji advises Urahara not to let his first day bother him so much since they are very alike, both being meddlers and he is doing alright as captain. He says goodbye to Urahara and begins to walk away into the night, leaving the new captain to his thoughts. He suddenly speaks into the darkness, asking an unseen stranger how long he was going to keep watching Urahara. He then reaches out his hand and uses Noren Mekuri to reveal his lieutenant, Aizen, hiding behind an illusory spell to spy on them. Surprised, Aizen asks when he realized he was there and Shinji replies since he was in his mother's womb. As they leave, Aizen insists that his captain is scary, but Shinji replies that he is the scary one.
|Major Participants||Gotei 13 • Shūhei Hisagi • Suì-Fēng • Byakuya Kuchiki • Sōsuke Aizen • Gin Ichimaru • Kaname Tōsen • Tessai Tsukabishi|
|Battles & Events||The New Captain of the 12th Division • Recruit from the Nest of Maggots • Disappearances in Soul Society • Battle in Fugai Forest • The Fall of Kisuke Urahara|