Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi was the one to dub the spirits as Tōjū and announces they are not Zanpakutō ; nor Hollow or Shinigami. Tōjū are a completely new species and can use all the ablities of when they were normal Zanpakutō to their fullest capability; meaning they are in a constant Bankai release state. Which means even low level Zanpakutō will be hard to defeat.
The Tōjū appeared shortly after the death of Muramasa, the first one appearing at the Kuchiki Family Mansion during the flower-viewing festival whilst the sakura trees were in full bloom. Rukia was the first to encounter the Tōjū, aswell as her Zanpakutō Sode no Shirayuki and Senbonzakura. One is killed during this encounter and the other escapes, only to be captured later y Rukia for examination with Mayuri.
Captain Ukitake states that the appearance of the Tōjū could be why the other Zanpakutō have manifested again, yet the one behind this phenomenon is still unknown. An ability that the Tōjū have shown is the ability to fuse with Hollow. Hitsugaya came to the conclusion they do this to become more powerful and thus more difficult to deal with.It has also become apparent that some of the Tōjū are driven by the desire to find their masters (something which is speculated to derive from Muramasa). On particular Tōjū was constantly concerned with the whereabouts of his masters when he escaped to the
However for the most part Tōjū seem to only wish to harm those who get in their way. A tentacle monster attacked Ikkaku while he, his Zanpakutō, Hōzukimaru, 8th Division's Lieutenant Nanao Ise and 7th seat Yamada Hanatarō was hunting for the thief that stole Gotei 13's goods . Later its shown that the tentacle monster is a Tōjū . It have been defeated my Hanatarō's materialised Zanpakutō , Hisagomaru using its Akeiro Hisagomaru.
During this time, Kazeshini still has a desire to kill Hisagi, he met a Sword Fiend and effortlessly killed it having realised that they weren't on the same side, referring to it as a "Shinigami Dog". Another one attacked him from behind and was also killed. As with the others, they were swiftly killed by Hisagi and his group comprising of Kira, Ikakku and Tetsuzaemon).
There was also a group of Tōjū that attack Rukongai, similar to the Hollow Tōjū. They all had a humanoid body shape and the head facial features, the most notable being the lack of hair. But they also all had red-eyes and a deranged expression on their faces.
Tōjū have also been shown to fuse with human bodies as well as Hollows, this allows them to conceal their Riatsu from Shinigami more or less completely.
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