- "The Zero Division has no soldiers. All five members are Captains. And ...their total power surpasses the power of all the 13 Divisions together."
- —Shunsui Kyōraku
|Headquarters||Soul King Palace|
|Purpose||Protection of the Soul King|
The Royal Guard (王属特務 Ōzokutokumu; literally meaning Royal Special Task Force) otherwise known as the Zero Division (零番隊 Zerobantai) composes of select few Shinigami who have contributed greatly to the overall formation of Soul Society, and have been deemed worthy enough by the Soul King to exist at his palace. Though prior to the White Invasion and Thousand-Year Blood War, there were no more than five members, the necessity to combat threats to Soul Society were apparent. Thus, affiliates and branched organizations were made to accommodate for this.
The Royal Guard is a special organization that performs services for the Royal Family. It has a considerable amount of fighting, organizational, and executive power compared to other organizations.
They are also charged with slaying Menos Grande, though the circumstances under which they do so are unknown.
Since serving the royal family is the primary purpose of the Royal Guard, they don't interfere in Gotei 13's affairs and the defense of Soul Society, as seen with major threats like Aizen and his Arrancar. They are known to do whatever is required by order of the Soul King.
The Royal Guards authority supersedes the authority of all within Soul Society. Each member of the Royal Guard have had the power of the Ōken imparted onto their bones by the Soul King. They also each have a city of their own at the Soul King Palace.
Much of the history of the Royal Guard isn't known by the common populace. It is known that after two major threats to the Soul Society were quelled, the necessity for the Soul King's further protection had allowed increased membership within the ranks, based not only on their inventive contributions to Soul Society, but a few other contributions.
The Royal Guard serves as guardians with the primary responsibilities of:
- Protecting the Soul King.
- Protecting the Royal Family.
- Protecting the Royal Palace.
- Slaying Menos class Hollows.
The Royal Guard commonly stays within the Soul King Palace, but when they do travel, their preferred method of transportation is a huge pillar called the Tenchūren (天柱輦, Heavenly-Pillar Palanquin). This pillar enters from the inner dimension and lands with significant force upon its arrival. The Tenchūren, however, does not have the ability to return to the palace on its own, and relies on Kūkaku Shiba's cannon to launch it back. Ōetsu Nimaiya also has the ability to open a portal within the Soul King Palace that can send someone directly to the Human World. Someone can be returned to the Soul King Palace if the Chōkaimon (超界門, Super World Gate) is opened, but it can only be opened by syncing the arrival and departure times.
- Main Article - Shinsengumi
- Main Article - Gotei 13
|Hot Spring Demon||Tenjirō Kirinji||Unknown||Healing Springs|
|Ruler of Grain||Kirio Hikifune||12th Division||Artificial soul|
|God of the Sword||Ōetsu Nimaiya||Unknown||Zanpakutō|
|Great Weave Guard||Senjumaru Shutara||Unknown||Unknown|
|Eyeball Monk||Ichibei Hyōsube||Unknown||Unknown|
|Eternal Guard||Jōsai Yūzūmuge||Sekkiseki|
|River Child||Toshū Kinugyoku||Jikūseki|
|Great Frog||Yuitsu Kusaki||Soul King Palace|
The Royal Guard is known to promote former captains of the Gotei 13 to their ranks. The Royal Guard has no soldiers, and it only has 5 members, all of which are former Captains. Their total power far surpasses the power of all the 13 Divisions together.
All the members of the Royal Guard, were Shinigami acknowledged by the Soul King to have made significant contributions to the history of Soul Society.
Like the divisions of the Gotei 13, the Royal Guard also has a unique symbol that represents the division's primary role, which is in its case based upon the Winter Daphne (沈丁花, Jinchōge). This symbol is placed inside the Gotei 13 symbol of a rhombus to form the division's complete insignia, which is displayed upon each member's haori.